Many schoolgirls in Buburi will miss school when they have their period because they don’t have access to sanitary products. This is why Friends of Buburi has started a project to provide washable pads to girls in the local community. We already have dozens of women in the UK making pads for us so if can sew or you know of anyone who can please download our patterns and get involved.
Periods are a natural process that are a part of nearly every girl’s life. But without access to toilets or sanitary products at school, girls’ lives are put on hold during their period, as they have little choice but to stay at home. It’s known that in schools where sanitary pads or puberty education are not provided, levels of absenteeism among girls are higher, on average, compared with schools where girls received pads, education, or both. This has a huge impact on their education. Missing days at school can lead girls to drop out altogether, putting them at greater risk of child marriage and getting pregnant at a younger age and so the cycle of poverty continues.
And so we are recruiting supporters and friends of our charity in the UK to make washable cloth sanitary pads which we will transport to Buburi and distribute to the girls. As well as sanitary pads, we’re making pads for the women who have just delivered their babies. Women often arrive at the maternity clinic without any hygiene products for after the birth and so we’ll be giving them a few pads alongside the range of baby products inside the Buburi baby bags we provide for newborns.
This project will be supported by our wonderful group of Community Health Workers who provide health education to the local people. It’s also hoped that we’ll be able to encourage the community to start a small business making sanitary and post partum pads for the local female population.