There is no tool for development more effective than the education of girls. No other
policy is as likely to raise economic productivity, lower infant and maternal mortality,
improve nutrition and promote health, including the prevention of HIV/Aids.
Koffi Annan, Former UN Secretary General
Since 2000, Lunapads has been providing girls and women in developing nations with cloth pads and underwear so that they can attend school or work during their period, a practice known as Pads4Girls.
HISTORY OF PADS4GIRLS
We first learned of the Menstrual Health Management (MHM) issue when we were contacted by Zimbabwean/Canadian activist Isabella Wright. She informed us that girls and women, in many areas, had little or nothing to help them manage their menses. In many communities, disposable menstrual products are impossibly expensive. As a result they were missing school or work rather than risking discomfort or ridicule.
Lack of access to menstrual products affects millions of girls in the developing world. As many as 10% of school aged girls miss school because of it. The effect of these missed days is devastating, with girls missing up to 20% of their education, thereby increasing the likelihood of dropping out, earlier marriage and pregnancy as well as limiting career options.
The solution is simple: provide school girls with washable menstrual pads and underwear that will last for years. Providing reusable products means the burden of purchasing products each month is removed and the environmental devastation that hundreds of thousands of disposable pads would have on the landscape is alleviated.
The case for girl's education is well documented as one of the most important tools for development. We believe that no one should have to miss out on opportunities that will affect their future, simply because they have a period.
Pads4Girls’ mission is to support access to education for girls in developing nations by providing sustainable, affordable menstrual care products, as well as improving menstruation awareness. Our Pads4Girls activities involve collaboration with select Distribution Groups to make pad donations (see list below), providing Pad and Panty patterns to groups working in the developing world (send your request to email@example.com) or mentoring the start up of in-country operations like AFRIpads in Uganda.
Pads4Girls has partnered with many different groups over the years to bring washable cloth pads to girls and women in the developing world, including:
- AFRIpads Uganda
- Children's Future International Cambodia
- Empower Women in Africa Namibia
- My Arms Wide Open South Africa
- Good Hope Ministry Malawi
- Haitian Support: Bodarie School Haiti
- Imagine1Day Ethiopia
- Lugari Community Center Kenya
- Mariposa DR Dominican Republic
- Midwives for Haiti
- Pads for Prisons Project Sudan
- Passion Foundation Canada and Ethiopia
- Project Thrive Days for Girls
- Rabondo Community Project Kenya
- Sexual Rights Center Zimbabwe
- Sister Jackie's House of Love Jamaica
In 2014 Pads4Girls joined United Girls of the World, a non-profit society also under Madeleine and Suzanne’s leadership. United Girls has a broader mandate, to assist in the area of critical issues affecting girls and women around the world, empowering them by providing the tools they need to develop positive self-esteem. Please visit the United Girls of the World website to learn about our other programs such as G Day for Girls.
Since its inception, in partnership with dozens of groups, individuals and NGOs, Lunapads has helped provide over 150,000 girls and women in 17 nations with menstrual pads and/or menstrual underwear, giving them an immediate, essential and sustainable means to remain in school or at work.
To help us continue our work with Pads4Girls, please make a donation at the United Girls of the World website.
If you are in Canada and would like to receive a Charitable Tax Receipt (for donations greater than CAD$25), please make your donation online at the Tides Canada Foundation. We are unable to issue Charitable Tax Receipts to US donors, unless they are greater than USD$1,000. If you are located in the US and would like to make a donation greater than USD$1,000, please contact us via email to make arrangements.
Our One4Her program aims to improve access to education for girls, while supporting local employment for women in Uganda. How? For every product you purchase for yourself here, Lunapads will provide a girl in need with a Uganda-made AFRIpad to support her education. One for you. One for her. A better choice for you, jobs for women in Uganda, and a brighter future for girls.
- Sustainable Health Enterprises Rwanda
- Huru International Kenya
- Days for Girls International USA
- Empower Women in Africa
- Eco Femme India
- GOONJ India
- Jaysharee Industries India
- Zana Africa Kenya