Introducing Project Dignity
WONDERWorks would like to introduce you to our latest initiative…… PROJECT DIGNITY!
Many girls in Nepal don’t attend school during their monthly period, especially those in rural areas. One reason for this is that they don’t have access to modern sanitary pads and rely on rags for protection, making it difficult to confidently participate in school activities. Furthermore, school toilets offer little privacy to manage personal hygiene. In some areas, girls are still subjected to the chaupadi custom, even though this practice was banned several years ago. They are made to completely isolate themselves throughout menstruation, even from their families, forcing them to live in outdoor areas such as cow sheds. Missing so many weeks of valuable schooling throughout the school year often results in girls dropping out, which not only contributes to a lower level of educational but also leaves girls vulnerable to trafficking and early marriage.WONDERWorks has launched PROJECT DIGNITY in an effort to address some of these issues. We aim to make it easier for girls to manage their periods with dignity and give them the confidence to attend school regularly, regardless of the time of month.
Our project will benefit women and children in Nepal in two ways. Firstly, through the distribution of free washable sanitary pads for secondary school girls, in rural areas. Each school girl will receive a waterproof bag containing two sanitary sets that can be kept discreetly in their school bags. Each set is washable and contains a leak proof sanitary pad, with four additional inserts. Secondly, the pads will provide a much needed source of income for WONDERWorks ladies, who will be paid a ‘fair trade price’ to make them. Once training has been given, our sewing machines will be available for use every weekday afternoon. For some, this could mean the difference between putting a meal on the table or sending a child to school.
Last week we held a workshop to produce our first sanitary pads, which was lead by Suja, our tailoring tutor and supported by WONDERWorks trained tailors and current tailoring students. We’ve been working on the most suitable design and fabrics for some weeks and we’re confident that the final product, which has been tried and tested by volunteers, is ready to go!
Each sanitary pad set is a valuable tool to keep a girl in school throughout her secondary years and to ensure she retains her dignity.
Each sanitary set also provides a dignified means of extra income for needy and exploited women who are struggling to provide for themselves and their families.
The pads will be distributed through rural schools, in partnership with Village District Health Nurses, who will use the opportunity to teach both boys and girls about female health matters.
The cost to produce and distribute each sanitary pad set is US$10.
We hope you will consider supporting us. Thank you.