In much of the 3rd world, girls do not have access to safe menstrual supplies. Either nothing is available or they simply cannot afford what is there. As a result girls around the world are using unsafe techniques to manage their periods, or are often missing a week of school every month. Subsequently they are dropping out of school at alarming rates, and either being married off or being forced to work in the fields....all this just b/c they are girls!!
A few months back we heard about the amazing non profit organization "Days for Girls". With volunteer chapters all around North America, menstrual hygiene kits are being made and shipped to girls internationally! Recently we had the opportunity to send 23 re-useable menstrual kits, along with pamphlets and teaching manuals on women's health (all in French, or course) to our girls at Mukanzo Orphanage. We are excited about the opportunities this will provide for our girls. Not only will these kits allow the girls to stay in school, but we are also considering sending some of our girls to a sewing class where they learn to sew and to maintain a sewing machine, leaving them with a sewing machine to start their own small businesses. Perhaps they could become women's health educators as they sell their own menstrual kits!! With a chapter in Uganda (not too far from the DR Congo), we are considering this as a real option for some of our older girls!