Imagine waking up in the middle of the night gripped by fear; you think that you are bleeding to death. Imagine hiding in the toilets all day at school too ashamed and frightened to come out until everyone has gone home. For too many girls in The Gambia this is their experience of their first period and many more struggle to manage menstruation.
In The Gambia:
- Menstruation is considered one of the highest factors for school drop out amongst girls.
- 1 in 10 girls miss school or drop out due to lack of sanitary products or sanitation facilities in schools. This increases their likelihood of teenage pregnancy, health complications, early marriage and limiting their future career and economic opportunities.
- On average girls miss 48 days of school each year due to their periods.
- In a typical poor Gambian family where there is not enough money to buy food, shelter and other basic necessities sanitary products are not a priority. Many girls therefore are forced to use paper, leaves or old bits of cloth.
We believe that:
- Menstruation should not be a barrier to any woman. It should not prevent them from reaching their full potential whether in education, work or everyday life.
- Women should be able to access affordable and reusable sanitary pads.
- Women should not be ashamed or in fear of menstruation but have access to the right education to help remove all the taboos and stigma surrounding it.
...at this gender inequality and help provide Gambian women with the education and resources they need to manage their periods in a safe, hygienic and dignified way. Let’s enable every girl to access the education that is their basic human right.
Let’s see RED
In partnership with The Gambian Teacher’s Union through the Let’s See Red Project we will:
· provide high quality menstrual health education across all regions of The Gambia to help women manage their periods in a safe, hygienic and dignified way.
· provide the materials, equipment and resources needed to make reusable and environmentally friendly sanitary pads.
· support the establishment of microbusinesses to ensure the project’s sustainability.
By making a donation to the ‘Let’s see Red’ project via our website: www.projectgambia.org.uk
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)
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)
“Lack of access to sanitary towels for girls and women means no school, no work for women, no leaving home, no friends, no joy, no hope etc.”
“School absenteeism is a major risk factor to the education of girls in The Gambia.”
“Menstruation adds to the collection of reasons for gender disparity experienced by girls in the Gambia.”
The Gambian Teachers’ Union