No Shame, Period

Imagine a life in which pads and tampons are virtually nonexistent. In many third world countries, this situation is a daily reality. For 3+ days a month, girls and women as young as 10 years old are unable to maintain a normal lifestyle because of their periods. Where sanitary products are unaffordable and scarce, many young women are unable to engage in everyday activities while they wait for their periods to pass. In many cases, periods prevent young girls from attending school, leaving them far behind their classmates when they return. If a girl has a period of about five days, then over 10 months she may be forced to miss 50 days of school or more. This results in a higher dropout rate among girls, and prevents many females from being successful and realizing their dreams. 

No Shame, Period seeks to empower girls in developing countries to pursue equal educational opportunities by providing them with sustainable feminine sanitary products. Our first goal is to provide 200 "period packages" to girls and women in Salmadere, Haiti; any beyond that will be donated to other communities in need in Haiti. Each package will contain two reusable pads, an instruction booklet in Creole detailing washing and care for pads and other feminine health information, and two bottles of hand sanitizer. Each package will come in a plastic cosmetic bag so that when the girls are not using the pads, they will remain clean and safe. With the exception of the supply of hand sanitizer, these packs should last at least two years and cost $12 each. For such a small cost, the consequences are immeasurable: not only can a girl feel more comfortable and confident, she can regain those 50 days of school she may have lost due to her period.

We chose to focus our first project on Salmadere because when we traveled there over the course of three years and multiple trips, we met countless girls who were incredibly bright, but who were often unable to attend school due to the stigmatization of menstruation and inadequate feminine sanitary care. One major issue with providing feminine products in this area is that of sanitation. In this area of Haiti, trash lines the streets, and garbage bins are scarcely utilized. There is no plumbed running water other than a pump at the local school, and no purification system for the water from the river. For these reasons, disposable products would be unsustainable both for the environment and for the girls using them, as many girls would require up to 400 pads or tampons per year. We then considered providing menstrual cups, a sort of reusable tampon that must be cleaned once or twice per day, but we were concerned about the unfiltered water that would be used to clean it, which would then be inserted directly into a girl’s body. We therefore decided that reusable pads would be the most effective option. If we can provide each girl with two, she can alternate between wearing one and cleaning the other. Reusable pads can be safely cleaned in river water just like clothing, as they are not inserted directly into the body. Additionally, they eliminate the risk of toxic shock syndrome, which is difficult to treat in rural Haiti.

For the girls of Salmadere, a pad means more than just cleanliness and comfort - it means a chance to learn, a chance to dream, and a chance to succeed.

If you would like to volunteer by helping us organize and package the supplies or fundraise at your school, church etc… please email [email redacted]

Donate $60 and we will mail you a hand-written thank you note and printed photos of some of the students who you are benefitting.
  • Kendall Levy
    • $150 
    • 67 mos
  • Anne Alexander
    • $60 
    • 68 mos
  • eileen davern
    • $50 
    • 74 mos
  • Gus Aronson
    • $20 
    • 74 mos
  • Shilpa Saxena
    • $100 
    • 76 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

NO SHAME Campaign
Austin, TX
Mark Mouritsen

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