Since we first launched our Pads4Girls initiative we have received additional requests from schools in South Africa in the Eastern Cape province. It is astounding how many girls really need help and how they are being put at a disadvantage because of something we in first nations countries simply take for granted - easy access to menstrual supplies.
In struggling and disadvantaged communities across the globe, youth face a number of significant challenges. Simply being able to find gainful employment is but one of those as they struggle to differentiate themselves to find and land jobs. The young girls and women in these communities face a number of additional challenges that put them at an even greater disadvantage.
The first, in a number of cases, is ridicule and bullying as a result of having their period start at an inopportune moment while at school and they are unprepared. This can and has resulted in girls not returning to school after the experience, an experience that should be about celebrating the fact that they are becoming young women, not feeling embarrassed and having their self-esteem severely damaged. They are not just caught off guard; their circumstance is such that they just cannot afford basic menstrual products to support themselves. In a significant number of cases their families can't even afford to provide more than one meal a day and for some a meal only every two days. The result of this is that these young girls and women then end up staying home for the duration of their period, missing a significant amount of school. They underachieve and cannot perform to the real level of their abilities because they just can't be in school for a week each month.
At My Arms Wide Open, we work alongside community to identify and develop opportunities that give mothers, youth and children the power to choose how they can support and build communities. In the process we partner with organizations like Lunapads and their Pads4Girls program to improve the circumstance of young woman so that they have the opportunity to be all they can be and to thrive.
We still need your help to meet the demand we have for products. A great way to help is to please distribute this message as widely as you can asking the people you know to help with a donation for 1 of the girls we are working to help.
Thank you for all you have already done.
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