GIRLS DESERVE DIGNITY
It is easy to take feminine hygiene for granted when products are relatively inexpensive and accessible. But in developing countries, feminine hygiene products are not only expensive, but typically completely unobtainable for most women. It is stated that there are 1.5 billion women of reproductive age in the world. 300 million of those women live on less than $1.25/day, and will struggle to meet basic needs, such as food, shelter, water, and hygiene solutions. Without available feminine supplies, girls miss school, miss work and go without income, and are homebound for days, every single month.
Days for Girls, an international respected non-profit organisation, helps women and girls discover their potential and self-value by ensuring quality sustainable feminine hygiene, and Tandum Australia through our project partnership with Global Development Group is working to make change for young girls in regional Kenya.
Tandums recent delivery and training of sanitary kits in the Laikipia region of Kenya provided sanitary packs within the local school including health education and HIV testing. Ruth Rowlands, Co-Founder and Director or Tandum states ” launching the first packs to girls was a real starting point for us in seeing how much of a difference these packs can really make. Being a mother, a woman, a daughter, I honestly believe all women should have access to safe and hygienic sanitary care no matter your location.”
It was with this first delivery that the Tandum wanted to explore ways to provide even more kits, but in a tandem approach. By finding the right partner even more kits could be created and delievered to much needed girls in Kenya.
That partner was local Australian clothing designer Bandicute Designs (www.bandicutedesigns.com.au). During the month of June, Bandicute Designs will be producing limited edition Shibori scarves, with every scarf sold providing a sustainable and quality sanitary kit to a young girl in Kenya.
“It is easy to forget sometimes that girls around the world don’t have access to something so basic as feminine hygiene supplies,” states Ruth Rowlands, Tandum Co-Founder and Director Australia. “this often keeps young girls and women from their everyday activities, especially school. When a girl is born into poverty and doesn’t have access to education, her future can be limited. But as she receives a Days for Girls kit, the whole progression of her future changes as she is able to go to school, work, not limited by her opportunities. Educating girls enables them to lift themselves out of poverty and their future families and communities benefit from this as well, possibly changing the cycle of poverty in one generation”
The vision for Days for Girls is inspiring. The non-profit wants to ensure that every girl and woman in the world has access to quality sustainable hygiene and health education by 2022. This is a huge goal , but one that is incredibly exciting and empowering.
It has been reported by Days for Girls that young women are using mattress stuffing, corn husks, leaves, newspaper, and other materials for feminine hygiene. Ruth says “ This is not only heartbreaking, it is unsafe. We have partnered with Days for Girls in the past and are excited to partner again this time with Bandicute Designs to provide as many kits as we can to the communities Tandum is currently working with in regional Kenya.”
Every element in a Days for Girls kit is specially designed with feedback from the girls that use them, and includes items like fabric shields, liners, panties, wash clothes, soap, instructions, and a beautiful drawstring bag that can also be used for school work. The kits are designed to last three years and provide dignity and freedom to girls around the world.
Jessica Dyne, Owner and Director of Bandicute Designs states “ we are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with TANDUM and support and empower young Kenyan female students and to provide valuable training for local Kenyan business women. Every woman deserves dignity.”
Girls Deserve Dignity scarves available for sale from 1st June, worldwide see www.tandum.org or www.bandicutedesigns.com.au for more details.
Tandum Kenya is a non-profit organization partnering with communities in drought-ravaged Kenya to end hunger. We look for projects that will create lasting and sustainable change in the lives of the people we work with including greenhouse development, sustainable business development, small project funding and working with communities and women’s groups. Tandum was founded by Tasmanian Australia locals Ruth and Peter Rowland. Ruth began Tandum seven years ago after living and working in Kenya made her aware of enormous gaps and inequalities in the child sponsorship system.