When we asked a young lady who grew up in a rural community of Nigeria about her menstrual hygiene, here is what she said,
“Growing up and starting menstruation, I could not tell my parents about this. In the beginning, I bled for several days continuously and could not share this with anyone because I didn’t want to be assumed to be ill. Since I did not tell my parents, I had to find a way to get sanitary pads on my own. Because the price of the products limited me and over the next months, I menstruated for five to seven days, I would try to use only two pads a day. By the fourth day, I am already out of pads, so I roll and use toilet paper for the fifth day and as pant lining for the subsequent days on which I might bleed. I never really considered whether this was good or bad. All I know is that the toilet papers always helped.”
As a platform that promotes the stories of women, Gift a Girl a Pad is our way of providing support for teenage girls who are only just discovering the details of being a woman. Coupled with the societal structures in which they live, every girl is faced with the challenge of whether or not they are menstruating. At least one day every month, the teenage girl tries to understand her bleeding body and all the symptoms of PMS. We understand that going through this can be difficult but we want the teenagers that we reach out to, to know that they do not have to go through these moments alone. They can find support or answer to their questions with us.
Our dream is to someday be a platform that provides support all year round and which these teenage girls in need can reach via simple structured text messages or email if they are lucky to have access to one. We hope to be able to someday mobilize emergency support to these young girls when and from wherever they reach out to us.
In the meantime, we are gathering donations and support so that we can go to these communities as a team to educate and provide the girls with the simplest menstrual hygiene product: a sanitary pad. Your support. through any of the means below, is highly valued.