Posted by: Wasrag | September 6, 2015

Notes from the Field…

Menstrual Hygiene Management or MHM is an area of growing interest – finally! An area that has, for too long, been taboo, MHM has come out of the closet, and into mainstream WASH planning. Lack of water and sanitation facilities in schools results in a marked decline in girls’ attendance once they start menstruating. It’s hard to imagine: no privacy, no place to wash, and no place to dispose of used products.
At the WASRAG Summit in Brazil, I met a wonderful Rotarian who volunteered with Days for Girls in Saskatchewan.
DaysForGirlsDays for Girls is an international organization made up of chapters of sewers, often women, who donate time to prepare kits. The kits cost approximately $10 and can last up to about three years. They include a breathable waterproof liner that holds reusable pads, underwear, soap, a ziplock bag for storage, and a colourful bag to hold it all. Pads are made from colourful fabric that makes stains harder to see, and looks innocuous drying on a clothes line.
Recently I was able to get 50 kits – some donated, some paid for – that are in my luggage as I travel to Nigeria. Our intention is to undertake a study with these kits, see how girls react, are they culturally acceptable, do they meet the need we think is there. I’ll report back on the results in a future newsletter.
In the meantime, I remain enormously grateful for WASRAG Water Summits: the things I learn and the people I meet.
submitted by Newsletter Editor Nancy Gilbert

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