Yes, of course. If you follow the link on the blog to Jump! Mag and make a donation through the paypal link at the bottom of the page. I'd rather do that than put it through my personal paypal account, and then it get muddled with my money.
What are the specific issues here do you think? Is it the price of disposables such as tampons/towels?
Are reusables not available or is there a washing/hygeine issue preventing their use?
Taboos around menstruation?
It seems like something that should be fairly easily solved (eg women's collective making reusable towels funded by donations/subsidised if not possible to make cheap enough for local use), but presumable it's A Bit More Complicated Than That... these things usually are.
Yes, you are right - it is one of those seemingly simple issues that is actually quite complicated when you get into it.
It is a combination of issues. For one thing, these are girls from extremely poor families - and the price of disposables is simply too high. Some families can't even afford to send their children to school, let alone 'luxuries' like san pro.
There are a few NGOs working in this area - teaching women to make reusables for example, which gives them both an income and provides a long term solution. I am in touch with one of them and am thinking if there is a way to support them on a regular basis.
The CDC are conducting research in Kenya to see if mooncups would be an alternative - although there are some cultural barriers to this, and of course the hygiene issue. They are hoping to find out more about these issues, and how girls get on with them.
I have also heard of a company that make menstrual cups in Kenya - providing employment to Kenyans and a good alternative to expensive disposable san pro.
I will be writing an indepth piece about this soon.
They use anything they have - which could be torn up rags or old blankets, bits of mattresses, even leaves and mud which they put inside their vaginas. (sorry to be so graphic, but this is the reality for these women).
Yes I def will, worked in Malawi for 6months where there were similar issues, and currently working on a project spreading awareness about a Zimbabwean woman who was chased out of the country for distributing sanitary products. She carries on her work from the UK as an asylum seeker...well done you
I think what you are doing is brilliant. But are there really NO local manufacturers? The Guardian article someone linked to somewhere with regard to all this was very good.
I understand there could be resistance to menstrual cups and sponges, but promoting their use has got to be better than sending great wodges of pads half-way across the world?
Also washable pads are very effective and much nicer to use (As long as you can handle washing them - I wouldn't use any other kind now). And much better for the environment. And fairly easy to make yourself with fairly basic materials.
Wouldn't projects which help women to be self-sufficient be more useful?
Swampster Yes, I will be looking into other options. It was not my intention to do this regularly, but to see if I can find other ways of helping the girls.
It is not simply a case of providing menstrual cups or sponges. You don't have to convince me to their advantages - I am long converted to mooncup usage. There are cultural issues that have to be addressed, and this doesn't happen overnight.