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Pads for success in Zimbabwe

Thanks to a grant from BMS World Mission, more women and girls will no longer have to live in fear and shame of their bodies.

Every month, thousands of girls in Zimbabwe miss school because of something they can’t prevent and don’t have the money to control. Many risk their health using unsanitary and unsafe methods and brave the shame of accidents, just so they can go on with their lives.

Can you guess what it is? If you said a period, then you guessed right.

Sanitary pads and tampons are expensive. The average woman in the UK spends approximately £114 a year on feminine hygiene, according to The Mirror. Whether or not you consider that to be a lot of money, think of the families around the world who live on much less than £144 a year. Tack on the embarrassment and teasing from classmates, missing three to five days of school or work a month and the health risks from using the likes of feathers, bits of cloth, newspaper or used pads, and it is easy to understand why the need is so great.

So when a BMS partner in Zimbabwe, Family Impact, presented a proposal for workshops where women in poor rural communities would learn to make their own pads, a BMS Mission Innovation Fund grant was happily given. “The sanitary pads project gives women the opportunity to participate fully in society during their periods and not to feel that sense of exclusion,” says BMS Manager for Mission Projects Steve Sanderson. “It also creates a strong network of women’s groups and provides an opportunity for openness about issues of sexual reproductive health.”

The £5,000 innovation grant funded several two-day workshops, where women learned much more than just how to make and maintain reusable pads. The classes also covered topics of gender based violence, cancer and sexual reproductive health. At the end of the training, the ladies were given the tools to pass on the essential sanitary pad making knowledge to others in need.

Thanks to the initial training and the continued sharing of knowledge life for countless Zimbabwean women is getting just a little bit easier.
                                                                                  
Please pray for the workshop leaders the training and those benefitting from them. Keep Family Impact in your prayers as they work to empower and enable women all over Zimbabwe.


 

This article first appeared on the website of BMS World Mission and is used with permission  


 

 

BMS World Mission, 22/05/2015
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