Can you imagine waking up in fear believing that you are bleeding to death or hiding in the toilets all day at school too ashamed and frightened to come out until everyone has gone home. For many girls in The Gambia this is their experience of their first period and many of them struggle to manage menstruation.
1 in 10 girls miss school or drop out due to lack of sanitary products or sanitation facilities in schools. On average girls miss 48 days of school a year during their periods. In a typical poor Gambian family where there is not enough money to buy food, shelter and other basic needs sanitary products are not a priority. Many girls are forced to use paper, leaves or old bits of cloth. This situation increases the likelihood of teenage pregnancy, health complications, early marriage and limits a girl’s future career and economic opportunities.
Project Gambia believes that menstruation should not be a barrier to any women or prevent them from reaching their full potential in education, work and everyday life. We believe that women should have access to affordable, reusable sanitary pads and high quality menstrual education.
Working in partnership with The Gambia Teachers’ Union the ‘Let’s See Red’ project has been launched.
Through this project we aim to:
· provide Gambian women with the education and resources they need to manage their periods in a safe, hygienic and dignified way.
· help reverse the negative trend of girl’s education in The Gambia tackling the gender disparity experienced by many girls.
· remove many of the taboos and stigmas around menstruation
We are providing:
· high quality menstrual education to groups of identified leaders and teachers (male and female) who will then use the information and resources they receive to train and educate others in schools and communities across The Gambia.
· materials and equipment to support the development of long term access to sustainable and environmentally friendly menstrual products. Men and women will be taught how to make reusable sanitary pads and supported to establish micro businesses.
· packs of reusable sanitary pads to schools and communities across The Gambia
You can help us by:
By making a donation to the ‘Let’s see Red’ project via this website (100% of any monies donated will be used to support this project. We do not take any money for salaries or administrative costs)
By donating any of the following resources:
· Material (anything from 20cm x 20cm)
· Sewing items: thread, needles, pins, scissors, towels, press studs, sewing machines, microfibre cloths
· Underwear: knickers (new please) and bras (these don’t need to be new)
By making some sanitary pads and bags (They are really simple to make. We have patterns that you can use)
For the latest information about the project check out the latest news section of this website.
Interested in getting involved, or want to know how you can help then contact Bev Hodt: email@example.com