I would like to start by giving you a snap shot into the life one 14 year old girl life during her last year in middle school. Imagine this girl seated in class. . .through her lunch break. . .because she is terrified that her time of the month is near. Imagine her struggling to secretly put together a sanitary towel out of pieces of cloth her mother gave her because all the money her mum had was used to buy dinner last night. Now imagine her being a topic of discussion in a teachers' staff meeting because fellow students had made complaints about how her situation was affecting them. Humiliating! Right?! Well, ladies and gentlemen, that girl, was me!
That year was quite challenging for my family and as young as I was I tried not to demand for much nor complain when I didn't get what I needed or wanted. However, I couldn't help but feel like there was very little support or even a light at the end of the tunnel. For a long time, I pretended that none of that happened but from time to time, the memories would resurfaced and I would weep uncontrollably just as I wept when I was 14. One day during the self pity moments, I said to myself that enough is enough. It was time for me to make peace with my harsh past and move on. So I made up my mind to do something about it and decided to start a project called Metameta.
MetaMeta is a Swahili word which means to twinkle or to shine. I found a silver lining in my dark cloud by beginning to help girls who could not get proper hygiene products due to the financial hardships faced by their families. I decided to start making reusable menstrual pads. I began the project barely a month ago by collecting soda cans and bottles which I cashed in to raise funds for supplies. Through the generosity of a few friends, I was able to collect 1200 cans and bottles that helped acquire the first 20 yards of fabric! This fabric will go into making 160 of the reusable menstrual pads that will benefit up to 40 needy girls.
The immediate goal now is putting together hygiene kits consisting of 4-6 reusable menstrual pads a couple of pairs of panties and deodorant. One kit will help keep a girl in school for the at least 2 years because the pads are reusable. Without them the student is likely to miss 3 to 6 days of school in a month and possibly 54 days in an academic year. This leads to poor performance in academics and others opt to drop out of school all together.
Metameta needs your help to keep this project going. We are in need of more supplies and financial support to cover shipping costs to where the kits are needed. You can support the project through donating your used soda cans and bottles, that is, you are in the Eugene, Oregona rea and monetary contirbutions. If you know of a school or community based group who are in need of the kits, email me with details. Lets bring together our resources to help give that girl out there a chance to metameta or shine, and dream and work for a better tomorrow. I will end by quoting Maya Angelou, “If you find it in your heart to care about somebody else you will have succeeded.”