LunaPads One4Her Distribution - On going positive impact
By Helen Greenberg - EPN, Director of Operations
Little Rock School, Nairobi, Kenya
As we've told you on earlier occasions,Lunapads, and its founder, Madeline Shaw, have been extremely generous to Eliminate Poverty NOW. And not just to us - they established One4Her so that their customers could help girls in Africa receive sanitary pads. It's a fantastic program. As their website explains:
For every One4Her purchase you make, Lunapads will provide a girl in need with a Uganda-made AFRIpad to support her education.
When we contacted Lunapads to see whether the girls in the Kibera slum in Nairobi could be beneficiaries of the One4Her program, Madeline Shaw asked whether there were 2,000 girls who needed pads! Our largest previous distribution had been 200 girls, and as you knnow, providing 2,000 girls with washable santiray pads has been the initial goal of Pads for Peace. So we asked Lilly - founder and director of Little Rock ECD Center, our partner in Kibera - and Lilly said, "Absolutely! We welcome the opportunity to transform so many lives."
The pads were produced at AFRIpads, a small, but growing, business in Uganda employing 60 local women. AFRIpads delivered 2,000 kits (the pads come in a sack with a small purse pouch) while Eliminate Poverty NOW added a bucket, mesh drying bag, and underpants, since many girls don't have those either.
Judy and John were in Africa for the first distribution day at Little Rock. Lilly and her staff selected 2,000 school girls to receive the kits. On the first day, 300 girls came from primary schools, secondary schools, and girls' groups, including Little Rock's own girls' group. All of them are enrolled in programs that provide sex education, HIV sensitization, gender empowerment, hygeine, etc. There were 6 training sessions, each with about 50 girls.
The girls were interested, attentive, and VERY grateful for the opportunity these pads give them to stay in school. They asked telling questions. Teacher Evelyne explained the importance of drying the pads fully in the mesh bag on the clothesline, to avoid infection. One girl (a 6th grader) asked, "Will I be able to dry them in boarding school?"
This question is special because this girl clearlyassumed she would go to a good secondary school, all of which are boarding schools. She would obviously bethe first in her family to do so, since she did not realize that there would be clotheslines at the boarding schools. What an opportunity Lunapads gave us to help this girl - and the other 1,999 - to achieve their life's dreams.
THANK YOU, LUNAPADS! THANK YOU ONE4HER!
We hope to keep this project going, now that we've met our initial goal. The need is still there to help more girls, and we hope that you will be inspired to be a part of changing their lives by supporting this project. And as ever, thank you for your support! We continue to distribute pads made locally at Little Rock which certainly helps reach more girls and also provides employment for local women.
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