Anna Ebert wrote to us in March of 2012 to inquire whether we might be able to supply 50,000 Pads4Girls kits: we were amazed! It has taken some time to work out the details, however we are thrilled to announce that distribution of 10,000 “Transformation Textiles” (pads and panties made from waste fabric from mass-scale garment production) Kits will commence early in 2014.
For just $5, you can donate a kit made of 3 pairs of adjustable-size panties and 6 pads to a girl in need – thanks to Anna and Transformation Textiles. Donate here.
Here is Anna’s story about her work in Malawi and why she reached out to us:
“I work amongst the Tumbuka tribe in northern Malawi. There are approximately 1.4 million people there. I feel they are a forgotten people; difficult to reach….but not impossible.
I see women there being abused. They must carry 50 lbs of water on their heads with a baby on their back for who knows how far and that twice a day only because that’s all they are able to do. Yes, they are strong but it’s still way more than than should be asked of anyone to do every day! Their backs hurt. I know, for many have come to me for help to relieve their pain. Then I see the sickness caused by the bad water that they do carry to their homes and the tragedy after tragedy that happens because of the loss of their young children due to the bad water. Their hearts ache. They grieve the same as we do. They are human beings… moms who love their children, moms who want to care for the children. They do their utmost but can do no more. So I go to fix wells. Many, many wells. This helps immensely.
Here is an excerpt from the lengthy document she sent me detailing the hundreds of wells and boreholes she has had built throughout Malawi, as well as the dawn of her awareness of the issue with girls’ lack of access to menstrual supplies:
“Last summer, I had each community we went to fill in a survey. One of the question was “How many girls in your village do not come to school because they do not have underwear or sanitary napkins? and if they were provided for them, would they then go back to school?” I found out that on average in EACH village there were 155 girls not going to school because of it. That is huge! I was not aware that that was a problem. These girls drop out because they are embarrassed and mocked at school when they flow, and so they refuse to go back.
So they stay home, and what happens? They get pregnant and the poverty cycle starts all over again. By providing these girls with a sanitary kit, they will be able to go back to school and thus receive an education. Instead it’ll give them an opportunity to reach for higher goals and get out of poverty. But there are so many, many girls. I started searching the web. I emailed various companies for help. However, none of my emails were answered. One day, I shared my frustrations with a friend and received this email from her:
“Hi Anna, I came across this website tonight and thought of your concern for the girls in Malawi once they start menstruating. Not sure if you’ve heard of this company or not but thought I’d forward on the information for you to check out anyway. http://lunapads.com/about-us/donate-pads”.
I and my Malawian team will be going into their villages to fix their wells and now we also want to distribute the menstrual supplies they so desperately need. However, we need the supplies to get to us. You can help make this happen by making a donation. Every bit of your donation will go directly to bringing these supplies to them. How simple is that! What an opportunity it brings. A chance to make a change. Thank you for your support, your partnership, your love for these girls. And a huge thank you to Lunapads and Pads4Girls for making this a possibility!”