Reusable cloth pad is a tool to reducing period poverty
Period poverty is the lack of basic sanitary materials, sanitation facilities and menstrual hygiene education. According to UNICEF About 90 million Nigerians live in extreme poverty a subset of this is period poverty. Over the years, period poverty has been a great contributing factor to school absenteeism. In an attempt to alleviate period poverty, Sustainable pad project is an initiative that trains underprivileged women and girls, particularly in rural communities how to make their own reusable menstrual pads so as to manage a sustainable monthly period.
Many girls have been left with no choice but to stay at home during menstruation. This is due to the fact that they lack access to basic sanitary products and proper sanitation facilities in schools and at home. They however make use of makeship materials such as rags, tissue paper, newspaper, leaves among others which can cause infection to the body. Most girls believe that instead of going to school and facing the shame that comes with blood leakage, they decide to stay at home during menstruation so as prevent public ridicule. Recently, the case of a Kenyan girl that committed suicide as a result of body shaming increase our knowledge about this.
Inability to afford sanitary products, has led some girls to low level prostitution ( irresponsible sourcing for fund to afford sanitary pads). Also Poverty has deprived some parents the ability to perform their fundamental responsibilities such as providing menstrual materials for the girl child. This is very peculiar to many African states they however back up their inability to provide sanitary materials with a series of myths. I.e The use sanitary pads makes a girl child infertile.
With a reusable pad that lasts for years, school absenteeism, low level prostitution and other issues associated with period poverty will reduce at the schools we work. Also a reusable menstrual pad will invoke a sense of confidence in a girl child .
Reusable cloth pads can help reduce plastic pollution
Research has shown that plastic found in disposable menstrual hygiene product is the 5th most common plastic pollutant found in oceans. We hope SuS pads project will help in a very small way towards reducing this problem.
By training girls how to make their own reusable pads, and providing them with the materials needed to make their own reusable pad, we believe school absenteeism, school dropout and low level prostitution will be reduced. We hope to help more girls stay in school, complete their education and have a brighter future.
For more information about SuS pads, or to support our project contact us we will be happy to hear from you