Help Lucy provide menstrual products and confidence to Tanzanian school girls
$1,035 will pay for:
Training and materials for 100 new female staff to produce and distribute hygienic, reusable sanitary products
In Tanzania, 80% of girls and women don’t have the resources to manage their periods hygienically. Because they can’t afford sanitary products they improvise with rags, old clothes, and dry leaves. When they wash their dirty rags, they have to dry them under their beds to avoid the embarrassment of people seeing blood and knowing they have their period.
“Sex for pads” is a common trade in the poorest areas where girls are forced to sleep with men 2 or 3 times their age in exchange for basic sanitary products, exposing them to early pregnancy, abortion, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections.
Insufficient sanitary products also means girls are absent from school 4-7 days a month, significantly impacting their academic performance.
Lucy is a doctor who spent 7 years working with charities in Tanzania on sexual and reproductive rights. Through her work she understood the magnitude of the problems that girls face every month and the health problems that arise from not being able to care for themselves properly.
Lucy recalled her own shameful experience when she got her first period at school, and spent the whole day sitting down without eating lunch, afraid to move from her chair in case a classmate saw blood on her skirt. When she was finally able to escape, she stole a sock to use as a pad, and when that was used up, she ripped her bedsheet.
Through Lucy’s work she saw how much girls living in poverty were suffering through shame, humiliation and disease because of lack of knowledge and sanitary products and the taboo surrounding menstruation. And she decided to change the situation.
In 2016 Lucy created a washable, affordable pad and has been distributing it to Tanzanian girls all over the country. In just three years Lucy has provided 36,000 girls with products that allow them to be clean, confident and stay in school every month. She wants to reach 1 million girls by 2020 and we want to help her achieve that goal!