Helping girls get a better education, one period at a time
Lunapads International’s Pads4Girls project sends 200 hygiene kits to the Dominican Republic
March 2, 2011, Vancouver - What does a group of students from a prestigious school in Seattle, WA and a women-owned business that sells eco-friendly feminine hygiene products in Vancouver, BC have in common? Turns out, a concern for girls’ education in developing countries.
In early 2010, a group of twelve students from Lakeside Private School in Seattle volunteered with the Mariposa DR Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to empowering girls in Tres Ceibas, Dominican Republic. Mariposa’s executive director Patricia Suriel discovered that local girls miss up to 20% of their education simply because they lack menstrual supplies. When she proposed that the Lakeside students design a project to address this issue, they created The POWER Project.
Suriel and the POWER Project turned to Lunapads International, a Vancouver-based company that specializes in washable, reusable menstrual products, for help in providing supplies. Through its in-house philanthropic project called Pads4Girls, Lunapads sells cost-priced kits made up of panties, pads and cloths that are adaptable for daily needs as well as during menstruation. “Everything in the kits is completely washable and reusable for years, creating a long-term, sustainable solution,” notes Lunapads co-founder Madeleine Shaw, who started developing Lunapads in response to her own health and environmental concerns in 1993.
Many families in Tres Ceibas cannot afford to buy pads or tampons for their daughters. Too embarrassed to face discomfort or ridicule at school, the girls miss school for 3-5 days every month. “Regularly missing school leads to earlier dropout rates, earlier age of marriage and childbirth, increased chances of maternal mortality, reduced career choices and wages, and a less empowered life overall” explains Shaw’s business partner, Suzanne Siemens.
"You can build schools. You can bring thousands of books and tons of supplies. But it's not going to change anything unless someone is making sure the girls show up," says Jessica Lawson, the associate director of the Mariposa DR Foundation.
The POWER Project fundraised over $4,000, enough to supply 200 girls with Pads4Girls kits. The kits are being shipped from Lunapads on March 2, 2011 and will arrive in the Dominican Republic approximately three weeks later.
For more information, please contact:
Co-Founder, Lunapads International
Office: 604-681-9953 or 1 888-590-2299