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Menstrual Health Resources and Employment in India

by The Desai Foundation
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Menstrual Health Resources and Employment in India
Menstrual Health Resources and Employment in India
Menstrual Health Resources and Employment in India
Menstrual Health Resources and Employment in India
Menstrual Health Resources and Employment in India
Menstrual Health Resources and Employment in India
Menstrual Health Resources and Employment in India
Menstrual Health Resources and Employment in India
Menstrual Health Resources and Employment in India
Menstrual Health Resources and Employment in India
Menstrual Health Resources and Employment in India
Menstrual Health Resources and Employment in India
Menstrual Health Resources and Employment in India
Menstrual Health Resources and Employment in India
Menstrual Health Resources and Employment in India
Menstrual Health Resources and Employment in India
Menstrual Health Resources and Employment in India
Our Asani customers
Our Asani customers

Thanks to your support of our #PowerofaPad  campaign and your investment in providing women in rural India access to menstrual health and hygiene we are excited to announce a new chapter for Asani! The funding generated from your donations has enabled us to purchase a new groundbreaking machine that will increase our production speed to 16 sanitary napkins every minute, allowing us to improve the quality of our product and simultaneously hire more women to help us serve more communities.

Throughout the past ten months, we have been humbled to watch as bit by bit more women and girls have adopted sanitary menstrual health practices through our Asani products and programs. However, we learned through listening to our users that due to the hand made nature of our pads, some of our customers were experiencing a problem with the pads bunching or the adhesive being too strong. We listened and sought out a solution to improve these issue. Thanks to your support we have now secured a cutting-edge new machine that will: create pads which are even more sanitary, eliminate the issue of bunching and use a softer gel adhesive.

Since the inception of Asani, we have taken great pride in the program's ability to provide reliable employment and job-training for women, most of whom have never had formal employment, and are happy to share that this switch will enable us to dramatically elevate our job opportunities. With more efficient production, we will now be able to scale up our sales and distribution team and hire a female engineer while maintaining our current production team. We are thrilled to be able to offer more women the opportunity to become educators, entrepreneurs and ambassadors for menstrual health and hygiene; providing more rural women and girls with the basic needs to grow and thrive.

Our team looks at this new chapter as a super-boost in chipping away at the antiquated stigma around menstruation and as we prepare for spring are excited to share that menstrual health and hygiene will now be a part of our school curriculum! As we launch these new developments for Asani... we invite you to join us as a recurring donor and train more women in the principles and practices of MHM every month! 

Sincerely, 

Tess Fenn

Director or Partnerships and Development

MHM learning in action
MHM learning in action
Production Team Excited for the New Machine
Production Team Excited for the New Machine
Asani's New Machine!
Asani's New Machine!

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Asani in Hand
Asani in Hand
It is fitting that we share this update with our GlobalGiving community as those of us in the United States prepare to gather with our family and friends for Thanksgiving. This is the time of year we express gratitude for the many things that make us fortunate and recognize our ability to contribute to a more healthy and prosperous world. 
At The Desai Foundation, we want to give thanks to our community of supporters which makes it possible for us to expand opportunity for women and children in rural Gujarat (India). Our goal has always been to empower communities to see that they have within themselves the power to dream and create better futures. There is no example more promising to us than our Asani Sanitary Napkin program
Following the launch of our Asani program on World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2017, we've seen the ripple effects that the introduction of a sanitary napkin, or rather a pad, has had on the individuals and communities that we serve throughout Gujarat.  We want you to be the first to know what an incredible impact you are making.
In anticipation of #GivingTuesday (Nov. 28th) we are sharing stories from individuals the Asani program has impacted to show you "The Power of The Pad."
The Power of The Pad in Numbers: 
  1. More than 1,500 women have been reached through our menstrual health and hygiene awareness program.
  2. 3,000+  pads have been distributed to women and girls.
  3. 11 women are now employed by our Asani Sanitary Napkin production jobs. 
  4. 7 women are now employed through our Asani sales jobs and are serving the communities of Dungari, Dharasana, Daman, Sankar Talav, Khergam, Bilimora, Goyandi as Asani ambassadors. Our presence in these villages will enable us to reach another 5,000 women and girls

Throughout the six months following our launch, we have seen the Asani Sanitary Napkin program: increase school attendance for girls, create open conversations surrounding the subject of menstrual hygiene and women's health across generations (including among boys and men), and empower women to earn a living wage. Each of these results is creating a sense of dignity in women and girls which ripples throughout the entire family. However, our work is not finished. Through qualitative field research we have received feedback from our clients that will help us to improve the comfort of our product and with your support, we plan to implement these adjustments. 

Today we are grateful to share with you the stories of Rina, Sonal, Meet and Hansaben which have shown us the true depth and lasting power that a pad can enable. 

We encourage you to read these stories, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to see more, and participate in the conversation surrounding #ThePowerofThePad

Finally, I invite you to donate what you can to help us reach our GlobalGiving goal of $10,000 and join our team to inspire the continuation of stories like these for years to come. 

Warmly, 

Tess Fenn 

Director of Partnerships & Development 

 

 

 
Rina's Story
Rina's Story
Sonal's Story
Sonal's Story
Meet's Story
Meet's Story
Hansaben's Story
Hansaben's Story

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Happy to Bleed (teens)
Happy to Bleed (teens)

Thanks to your dedication to improving the lives of girls worldwide, the Asani Sanitary Napkin program is up and running in Untdi, Gujarat. On May 28th, World Menstrual Hygiene Day, more than 700 women and girls from the villages we serve in Gujarat (India) attended our launch event, which was a celebration of womanhood and an opportunity to embrace their right to bleed healthily and without stigma. In collaboration with local health experts, social workers, faith leaders and government officials, the event focused on the entirety of the issues facing women and girls and demonstrated the diverse community-wide support of the Asani Napkin Program. The program launch was recognized and touted by WASH United, the organization behind World Menstrual Hygiene Day and featured in Glamour Magazine.

The brand, made by women, for women, is the first-of-its-kind to provide low-cost, 90% biodegradable sanitary napkins to the region while simultaneously offering opportunities for women and girls to thrive throughout the supply-chain. “Whatever I earn goes towards my children” is a statement we hear frequently from the women in the program, all of whom are now able to earn valuable income outside the home. This income not only is reinvested in their families but it also supports their personal sense of dignity - a value we hope to facilitate throughout our work at The Desai Foundation.

We are incredibly proud of the work we have done and the opportunities we have allowed for women and girls to maintain health throughout their menstrual process, feel pride around their womanhood, and seek opportunities for educational and vocational advancement. However, we’re not stopping there, and our plans are ambitious. We need your continued support to execute our continued mission and to continue to improve the Asani product.

With your help, we will continue to expand our hygiene education programs to surrounding communities, helping to lay the groundwork for a growing Asani customer base, as well as for the expansion of the Asani program through existing channels with our impact programming partners: Shantaben Vidhyabhaven in Untdi and HCDC in Talangpur. Additional support will help us merge our Asani Sanitary Napkin project with the programming we facilitate with our community partner IIT Gandhinagar, India's prestigious technology university.

Thank you for being a proud supporter of the @GlobalGiving @DesaiFoundation project. You are truly helping women and girls to #DreamBeyond

DONATE HERE

We are humbled to build these dreams with you!

Megha Desai

Asani Opening Moment
Asani Opening Moment
Menstrual Hygiene Day
Menstrual Hygiene Day
Happy to Bleed (Young Women)
Happy to Bleed (Young Women)

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You have already make a HUGE impact! With the amount that we have arleady raised, we have been able to open our next center, create our own brand, and employ 20 women! 

On May 28th - World Menstrul Hygiene Day - We will be launching the Asani Sanitary Napkins Brand at the SV School & Community Ceter in Untdi, Gujarat. This launch will annouce our new brand, our new machines and introduce the women that will be manufactering our new and improved pads - with wings!

There will be a large ceremony with thousands of women at which we will educate them on MHM, and other important issues focused on women and empowering women. We will be sure to post pictures of the inaugration!

We still need to hit our goal in order to ensure that this center has the materials it needs to reach 250,000 women. And so we can continue to expand the center, employ more women and grow the program. 

Would you share our program on World Menstrual Hygiene Day - May 28th - to help spread the word and encourage others to join you in your support?

Proud to give to @GlobalGiving @DesaiFoundation project on World Menstrual Hygiene Day helping so many #DreamBeyond https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/sanitary-napkin-program-trains-women/

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!! 

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As we neared the end of 2016, our Sanitary Napkin Program took a promising step toward our ultimate goal of serving three greater regions in Gujarat. We are now manufacturing sanitary napkins out of an additional center in the village of Untdi. This center, Shantaben Vidhyabhavan, is a long-time partner of the Desai Foundation, providing vital educational, health, and vocational services to the people of Untdi and 17 surrounding villages. We are now closer to our goal of successfully operating the Sanitary Napkin Program out of three village community centers located in Kharel-- where the program was piloted— Untdi, and Talangpur. We have also been evaluating five different manufacturing systems to find the most durable, safe, and easy to use machines to equip each of these community centers.  This will ensure a happy and productive work environment for the women in our program. Each center serves dozens of surrounding villages, providing an opportunity to empower women far and wide across South Gujarat.

One such woman is Bhanuben, age 48 from the village of Gandeva, just outside of Kharel. Bhanuben has always been industrious, supporting her family through animal husbandry and manual labour. Seeking a more stable and fulfilling source of livelihood, she joined a local sakhi mandal, a woman-run self-help group, and began training under the Sanitary Napkin Program. After working for the program for over a year, she says she has learned and experienced a great deal, met new people, and travelled to surrounding rural communities and even to nearby cities to help mobilize women in the region. Bhanuben is proud to provide for her family to a greater degree; her new earnings have allowed her to construct a latrine in her household. She also takes satisfaction in a job that has provided a vital social circle as well as education on health, hygiene, and self-care.

Expanding the Sanitary Napkin Program will allow us to reach thousands of other women like Bhanuben who have been inspired to re-shape their lives. As our program in Kharel continues to thrive, the Desai Foundation aims to develop the fledgling program in Untdi and implement another program in Talangpur, creating a stronger base to ultimately uplift the lives of 250,000 women and girls.

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Organization Information

The Desai Foundation

Location: Bedford, MA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @DesaiFoundation
Project Leader:
Megha Desai
Burlington, MA United States
$20,437 raised of $25,000 goal
 
352 donations
$4,563 to go
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