Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Wednesday's Words: Feminine Hygiene Kits
As you can imagine, in many rural areas of Africa, the women don't have access to the conveniences of the modern world--like tampons, or even those big bulky Kotex pads I had to wear as a teenager in the 70's. Many women go without any type of protection to absorb their menstrual flow. Because of this they are ostracized, dis-allowed to work or go to school. In the case of some young girls, they are confined to a hut at the edge of town, alone or with other young girls, unattended and vulnerable to the lusts of men from the village who take advantage of them.
These crudely made sanitary belts (see picture) and pads can be the means of helping these African women carry on a somewhat normal life. The pads are made from cut-up cotton diapers, allowing the women to wash them out between use. They are thin so that they can hang them up to dry in the humid climates, but also can use several layers combined, according to their flow.
They aren't pretty, but they are effective and relatively easy to make if you know how to sew. I could e-mail you a set of instructions if you would like to participate in this wonderful cause. I could even send you a sample if that will make it easier. If you don't know what to do with them after you are done, I would be glad to have you send them to me on my nickle and I will give them to a lady who goes over to Africa on a regular basis.