Given that this shipment is so big I am having trouble imagining it (I invite you to picture a 40-foot shipping container filled with giant rain barrels which are in turn filled with 25,000 pairs of panties and 20,000 pads, plus enough fabric for several thousand more – or just watch the video!), it’s not a great surprise that our schedule for this Pads4Girls/Transformation Textiles project has gotten a bit off-kilter. Well, that and some, political, er….turbulence in Egypt, where the container originated.
No matter. When you are working with people as determined as the Anna Eberts and Rachel Starkeys of this world, things will get done: and so this one has. I am thrilled to announce that the container has left Alexandria and will arrive in Dar es Salaam in a few weeks, from where it be transported overland to Malawi. The final distributions will take place over several months.
One partner that we are particularly excited to reach is Marie Da Silva, the founder of the the Jacaranda Foundation and Orphanage. Marie was introduced to us personally by Ricki Lake, for whom Marie worked as a nanny for several years. Today the orphanage houses, feeds and educates 400 children, half of whom are girls. When I initially contacted Marie about the need for pads at Jacaranda, this is what she said:
“This is so amazing, because just last week I sat in a class of teenage girls who were being taught by a German volunteer about hygiene during their menstrual period. Remember these girls are orphans and do not have any kind of income to even buy the new piece of cloth. We have 400 Orphans at our school and 50% are girls. Most teenage girls in secondary school. Two days later I received your email and forwarded it to Julia who is the German volunteer. We could not believe it. Must have been some Angels listening in that classroom.”
Thank you so much to all of you who spread the word and donated to make this possible. Special shout-outs for above-and-beyondness are due to Danielle LaPorte, whose generosity coupled with her celebrity social media power in turn inspired Amanda Beisel of SKN Holistic Skincare and Eve Ford to cut big cheques and encourage others to do the same. Susan Tam, Managing Director & Empire Builder for “Golden Threads” has also been working hard to manage fundraising and logistics for Transformation Textiles in Canada, as well as Rachel’s amazing team at Cottontales in Egypt.
Next stop, Malawi! Stay posted for more news as this amazing story unfolds.