Menstruation is something universal to all women everywhere, yet how they experience it can differ markedly depending on their circumstances. For some women, modern sanitary pads, tampons and cups allow them to carry on with everyday life. For others, it can become a debilitating and socially isolating experience.
In Maiduguri in northern Nigeria, over 250,000 displaced women and girls in refugee camps have little or no access to sanitary products. Hundreds must share a single toilet and washroom coupled with poor access to water and soap. During their period, they often rely on crude, improvised materials like scraps of old clothing, pieces of foam mattress, toilet paper, leaves, and banana fibres to manage their menstruation, putting their health at risk.
The health risks are often compounded by a combination of misinformation and cultural taboos. Girls suffer stigma and exclusion, hindering their access to hygiene, education, community and family time.
With your support, D4DIGNITY can change this.
We are a group of African postgraduates at the London School of Economics participating in the Programme for African Leadership. We created D4DIGNITY to give back dignity to these displaced women and girls whose menstrual experience is often traumatic, by providing a sustainable and practical solution: locally made reusable menstrual pads. Our aim is to raise £10,000 to provide 1400 women and girls in the Maiduguri camp with a menstrual hygiene kit and reusable menstrual pads.
What is in a kit?
The kit is produced locally by our Abuja-based partner, Health Aid for All Initiative (HAFAI) (www.hafai.org), who also provide employment to local women to manufacture and prepare the kits.
Each kit comes in a colourful drawstring bag and consists of:
- 6 washable reusable pads
- 2 moisture barrier shields
- 1 pair of underwear
- 1 small soap
- 1 menstrual chart/guide
- 2 durable sealable freezer bags
The pads wash with little water, unfold in order to dry quickly and crucially, they last for up to 3 years. At the point of distribution, HAFAI will run educational sessions for women and girls in the camp that cover both proper usage and care of the pads as well as raise awareness of good menstrual hygiene practices.
You can make a difference today. Please Donate 4 Dignity now and share our campaign among your networks.
Together, let’s give these women back their dignity. Thank you.
The D4Dignity Team
Priscilla Sena Bretuo, Ghana, studying MSc Development Studies; Christian Ilunga-Matthiesen, Germany/DRC, studying MSc Development Management; Natacha Mendes, Angola studying MSc African Development; Ranelle Randee, Zambia, studying MSc African Development; Kenneth Sseguya, Uganda, studying LLM Law; Murjanatu Abubakar, Nigeria, studying MSc Organisational and Social Psychology.
For more information about our campaign and this issue, please visit www.d4dignity.org.uk