Once a month, million of girls and women are forced to miss work and school due to the lack of affordable and effective maxi-pads. The price of imported maxi-pads can cost more than a days’ wages. Alternatives, including cloth rags, bark and mud do not provide adequate protection and can cause severe health and reproductive issues.
Enter Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE). They have made it their mission to tackle issues in developing countries that are normally ignored or considered taboo in their societies.
Sustainable Health Enterprises have developed the SHE28 campaign to provide affordable maxi-pads to women and girls in developing countries. These eco-friendly maxi-pads are made from banana fibers and do not contain any chemicals or super-absorbent polymers. These pads, called SHE LaunchPads were launched in Rwanda in 2009. Women and girls now have access to maxi-pads that are priced at 5 cents each!
That isn’t even the best part! SHE’s LaunchPad creates economic opportunities for the banana farmers and on up the value chain to women entrepreneurs that will be given business skills training and education to sell the LaunchPads in their communities. According to SHE’s website, “(f)or every women-led and operated business that SHE invests in, approximately 100 jobs are created and approximately 100,000 girls and women have access to affordable menstrual pads.”
SHE is also working with Rwandan government to ensure menstrual education and hygiene is available to all girls in government sponsored schools. This, along with an advocacy campaign, as resulted in the Rwandan government to add a $35,000 line item to their budget to provide SHE LaunchPads to their poorest girls.
SHE is just getting started! They are moving from small-scale production to production to manufacture and distributed 300,00 SHE LaunchPads to 3,000 Rwandan school girls!
So… how can you help?
- Donate $28 dollars to help SHE’s campaign.
- Break the silence and go viral. Share the SHE video on You Tube.
- Get the word out – tell your friends to support SHE on Twitter – donate your voice via Thunderclap.
- Follow SHE on its website and blog or find them on Twitter and Facebook.
All pictures, information and links used with permission from Sustainable Health Enterprises via Global Team of 200.