I'm really pleased to announce that the charity I will be raising money for is Freedom Kit Bags!
Many girls and women from rural and low-income areas of Nepal don’t have access to disposable sanitary products, and even if they did the amount of rubbish pollution produced would be a huge weight on the environment, especially in countries which already have serious rubbish pollution problems.
What's more, due to cultural practises that go back centuries, women and girls are seen as an "unclean" during menstruation. One of the main reasons for this is the inability to deal with a periods physical effects. This results in them not being able to continue life as they normally would, which in many cases for young girls means not being able to go to school for a whole week every month.
A lack of hygienic protection also means that many village women suffer from infections which then lead to other health issues such as infertility, kidney complications and pelvic infections.
Being able to stay clean and healthy during this time is vital for the personal empowerment of these women. Freedom Kit Bags have everything they need to make this happen, and contain eco-friendly products for women and girls to use during menstruation, giving them the ability to carry on life as normal during their period.
Below is a list of everything in the Freedom Kits, I was surprised to see that many women and girls don’t even have knickers as a starting point. Every £25 raised provides one of these kits, which offers 2 years protection for a woman or girl. That’s around £1 a month....
ATTRACTIVE KIT BAG
This keeps the kit together in a clean, accessible place.
9 DAY PADS
These pads absorb the blood and are washable. There needs to be enough to have some in the wash and some ready to be used.
3 PAD HOLDERS
These waterproof pad holders clip around the knickers, holding the pads in place.
3 NIGHT PADS
Thicker pads for use at night so there is no risk of soiling bedclothes. It is common for women and girls to be turned out of bed or the house because of this.
3 PAIRS OF KNICKERS
Provide protection and a way to keep the pads in place. Most rural women do not have these.
3 CARRYING PURSE
An attractive purse allows women to carry clean or soiled pads with them without being embarrassed.
1 WET BAG
For holding soiled pads securely.
1 SOAP BAG & SOAP
Soap is part of the hygiene programme, to educate women about keeping their hands and sexual parts clean.
STRING AND PEGS
Washing lines cost money, so these ensure that the pads are hung up and air dried hygienically, and not in bushes or grass.
To educate women on menstruation and they ways to prevent infections.
To finish I'm including a quote from the founder of Freedom Kit Bags, Dr Rosa Matheson:
"We believe if you help the woman, you help her family. If you help the family, you help the community - so everyone wins."