So far, we've distributed 206 My Burlap Bags to primary school girls.
In many developing countries, women and girls often lack access to basic hygienic products and facilities such as toilets, clean water and soap necessary for good menstrual management. Many girls resort to improvised materials like scraps of old clothing, leaves, banana fibers and even rocks to manage their menstruation. Yet, the consequences of this can be more widespread than momentary discomfort. One study focused on East Africa found that only 51% of adolescent school girls had knowledge of menstruation and management, and 58% of girls indicated that school performance and attendance had declined after their first menstruation (Tegegne & Sisay, BMC Public Health, 2014). Faced with embarrassing leaks, bodily odors that lead to social exclusion, and a susceptibility to recurrent infections, menstruating girls often opt to stay at home, missing up to two months of school days per year and eventually dropping out all together.
We provide women and girls with a sustainable solution within a hygiene packet called My Burlap Bag to manage their periods with comfort and dignity. The Bag includes materials otherwise unavailable to these girls, including reusable sanitary pads made from high-performance textiles and four absorbent layers that are ultra-absorbent, hand-washable, and eco-friendly. Each bag costs approximately $32.
What's inside My Burlap Bag?
Each My Burlap Bag includes four reusable sanitary pads, a safety pin, a 16-ounce IMO Nalgene water bottle, a resealable plastic bag for washing each pad, a washcloth, and a bar of soap.
Who receives My Burlap Bag?
Girls registered in school who have experienced their first cycle of menstruation. Each girl receiving My Burlap Bag agrees to provide feedback regarding the contents and their use.