Sponsored by Lunapads
MDC is always on the lookout for businesses that support our ideals and strive to make a positive impact in our world. We are happy to share a short article with you on Pads 4 Girls, by Lunapads. The Pads 4 Girls program generously reaches out beyond our community to girls in developing nations and brings them resources for feminine hygiene, which allow them to stay in school rather than miss out and continually fall behind in their education each month.
Imagine keeping your daughter home from school for a few days every month, not because she’s sick, but because she has her period.
Tough for most of us to imagine, but that’s what happens to millions of girls in developing countries simply because their families cannot afford disposable pads and tampons. Too embarrassed to face discomfort or ridicule at school, girls stay home and miss school for 3-5 days every month. The impact goes far beyond falling behind in classes – it leads to earlier dropout rates, earlier age of marriage and childbirth, increased incidence of maternal mortality, reduced career choices and wages, and overall a riskier, less empowered life.
Not the future a mother would want for her daughter.
When Lunapads.com co-founders and MDC community members Madeleine Shaw and Suzanne Siemens learned about this in 2000, they decided to use their business success to address it. Under the name Pads4Girls, Lunapads partners with customers and non-government organizations to provide washable Daily Hygiene Kits (modified versions of Lunapads’ best-selling washable menstrual pads and padded panties) to girls in developing nations so they can stay in school every day of the month. Customers can purchase a Daily Hygiene Kit containing sufficient supplies to meet a girl’s daily needs during her menstrual cycle, which can then be washed and re-used for months and years to come. Since 2000, Lunapads has helped over 1,200 girls across Africa and Central America.
In March 2011, Lunapads partnered with the Mariposa DR Foundation in the Dominican Republic to send the largest shipment to date – 200 kits.
Suzanne, also a staunch maternal health and AP advocate, says that getting an education can literally mean the difference between life and death for these girls. She’s glad that with Lunapads, she’s in a great place to make a difference.
Pads4Girls has also had the unintended impact of helping North American women get over their qualms about washing their own pads. Madeleine gets a lot of feedback from women who at first felt squeamish about Lunapads. But, after hearing about Pads4Girls and the difference it makes for girls in the developing world, they were far more willing to make the switch themselves. Madeleine can relate - she started making cloth pads in 1993 in response to personal health and environmental concerns.
To learn more about how to support Pads4Girls, please click here. To learn about choosing Lunapads and other natural alternatives to disposable pads and tampons for yourself, please visit lunapads.com.