Wells for Zoe
The inability of women and girls to access sanitary products has led to an increase in infection, disease, and a lack of education among women in developing countries. I have worked with the charity Wells for Zoe to help combat this.
At Wells for Zoe there had been a reusable sanitary pad project for some time, however Eilis contacted me a few months ago having purchased some of my pads and asked was there any tips I could give to help the girls improve their methods in making their own. I was so delighted to help.
For young women in Malawi, their first period means scavenging for some spare cloth, clean paper or anything to create something that resembles a sanitary pad. Girls are forced to miss many days of school when they have their period – or even drop out of school altogether – due to embarrassment and lack of any sanitary products. This denies girls their right to an education, and often shapes the rest of their future.
I made a full length video, explaining how to make a pattern, how to cut out pad parts and how to assemble and finish their own pads. While my contribution was absolutely tiny, it has helped these girls and young women gain independence and taught them skills that can be passed on for a long time.
The girls use four old refurbished Singer Sewing machines, foot operated. Last month Eilis contacted me about one of the first major gifts of pads where 428 reusable sanitary pads were gifted to 107 girls who received 2 sets each. Wow, such Luxury!
How can you help?
Here at Wells for Zoë, we have set up a reusable sanitary pads project, where girls, who don’t do well academically have embraced this wonderful and much needed necessity. We have four old refurbished Singer Sewing machines, foot operated. At our tailoring school, affectionately known as “Maisie’s Makes”, we have 3 amazing girls, who teach the new girls tailoring skills they can take back to their villages.
These reusable sanitary pads are given to the girls we support in schools, who cannot afford such a luxury through our WfZ Girl Child Students project. Also, where we have opened new Health Clinics in the more remote areas, when ladies attend, they are gifted 2 reusable pads. On a recent visit to our Health Clinic in Kadikechi, where 88 women attended, these reusable sanitary pads were greeted with incredible joy.