PDA

View Full Version : Help for young girls in Africa?


feministmama
01-02-2008, 03:10 AM
I just saw this commercial on TV. THis pad comany is starting a program to help young girls in Africa. Many of them can't go to school cuz they have to go find fresh water and help the family in other subsistance activites. But also girls get shortchanged in school cuz they get a period. They don;t have pads so they can't go. So this company is helping to send pads to girls in Africa so they can go to school. I'm suspicious of the US strategy of using consumerism to help those in need but I do buy this companies product and would like to support them if they are actually doing this program. So go to www.protectingfutures.com and check it out and see if you think think this is a good idea and you would like to give them your money. (I posted a link on my website too)

msoebel
01-02-2008, 10:27 AM
I saw those commercials. My dh was like, "Um, too much information! I guess they'll do anything to sell pads, huh?"

And I "informed" him (okay, it was really a lecture) about why it's so important that women in Africa are able to be educated. As studies are finding, villages where the women are receiving the same education as the men are beginning to really pull forward. They have found a direct correlation between poverty and uneducated women in villages. When girls have to miss a week of school each month, it doesn't just put them behind their class, it hurts their village.

It's been a problem for a very long time, so I am glad that someone is doing something about it. I would like it even more if they weren't using it as a ploy to sell their products, but hey, helping a little is better than not helping at all!

figaro
01-02-2008, 12:21 PM
It sounds like a good program in theory until you start thinking about where the pads end up. I would rather these girls have the cotton pads that they wash then the ones they throw away. I don't think that the disposible ones are probably disposed of properly :ick: and at least with the washable ones, they are not being tossed in some garble pile...

Lucy78green
01-02-2008, 01:13 PM
I remember a documentary a few years ago (think it was on Comic relief UK) where women were using anything that came to hand like old newspapers and then getting infections as a result. Some women's charity was helping them get material to make the resusable pads. Think it was in Rwanda but not sure.

Jan in CA
01-02-2008, 02:52 PM
I would rather these girls have the cotton pads that they wash then the ones they throw away.


Although I agree and do my best to save the planet I don't think this would work or is practical for this situation is it? Not only are water and bathroom facilities not always readily available in some places, it's more practical for them to be able to throw them away while at school.

Maybe someday when the girls are educated they can help solve this problem as well as others.

Just my humble opinion.. :hug:

As for the program...I think it's a good idea. It sounds as if you already buy the products then you are helping already. I am always skeptical of what and where the money really goes, but what can you do here.

scout52
01-02-2008, 04:02 PM
I think the program is a good idea. yes it not reusable but for many of the woman in southern Africa they have suffered from Female Genital Mutilation. It would actually be more sanitary for them to use the disposable pads as would girls who have suffered FGM are prone to infections. I'm glad there are more companies that are focusing on girls education in Africa. That is the only way to help the communities there.

knitncook
01-03-2008, 01:35 PM
Although I agree and do my best to save the planet I don't think this would work or is practical for this situation is it? Not only are water and bathroom facilities not always readily available in some places, it's more practical for them to be able to throw them away while at school.



This is where we have the bigger problem. It isn't girls missing school or even the lack of sanitary supplies, but the access to BASIC human needs. What people need more than sanitary supplies is fresh clean water.

I guess I'm a bit biased as I helped my parents for years with their work in Guatemala. My father is a carpenter and contractor and was contracted to build a church in a rural area of Guatemala. He didn't think anything of it that first year so he went down and built the church. He talked to the priests and bishop (Episcopal) about what was really needed and they all said, "Clean water and regular medicine." From that my dad created an organization that made semi-annual trips to the rural areas of Guatemala to provide just that. Two medical missions go down each year and send doctors, dentists, and pharmacists. They see thousands of patients and dispense hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of medicine, vitamins, sanitary supplies and other needed health related items. But the big work is that of helping to drill wells and create sustainable water filtration systems. This isn't easy because many of the people that they see live on plantations and the plantation owners don't want clean water for their people. Keep them poor, sick and stupid and you can work them literally to death.

While I think it is sad that there are girls missing school because of their periods, there is a bigger problem that we need to focus on. This reminds me of the Nestle baby formula scandal where Nestle was providing free powdered formula to poor babies rather than providing food for their parents. As soon as the "relief workers" were gone there was a greater problem in that the parents had no access to clean water to make the formula with and now had no natural milk supply of their own. Now we have both starving babies and starving parents. :(

Ugh, didn't mean to write a novel. It's just a sensitive issue for me. We put bandaids on gaping wounds instead of trying to fix the bigger problems first.

figaro
01-03-2008, 01:55 PM
This is on that website under "Other Projects"

With few lakes and rivers, water can be hard to come by - especially at schools in remote regions. It is for this reason that Tampax and Always are funding a four-kilometer long pipeline from the nearest water point to a local primary school in a remote region of Southern Africa. This new water source, the longest to be funded by a private donor in that region, will serve not only the children and teachers of the school but also the surrounding communities.
Easy access to water will eliminate the need for the girls at this school to walk miles every day to fetch water, forcing them to often miss many hours of school. In addition to drinking, washing and cooking, water will be used for the new wash stations that we are building so that the girls can "manage" their periods. Improved health and hygiene is a critical part of helping these girls stay in school.
In short, the positive impact that this pipeline project will have for the community is incalculable.

feministmama
01-05-2008, 08:18 PM
OY! We humans have made a mess of this planet haven't we? Can I just blame it all on Goerge Bush? :teehee: No I guess not cuz I benefit from the privilege of living in the US and being able to walk down the street and have fresh, clean water bubble up from the street! http://www.portlandonline.com/water/index.cfm?c=ecdei I iwsh I could do more but I think starting this conversation is a good first step. Thanks all for listening and being aware.