Welcome to the period page.
We will be the first one to raise our hands and say periods are the worst. Is there really anything awesome about them? Yeah, nature and babies and stuff. But also no. Just no.
If we know how periods are the worst in the first world where it’s a minor to moderate inconvenience think about the impact of Aunt Flow for our girls in the third world. Where running water is considered a luxury and tampons don’t even exist.
It’s fate, computer or smart phone-wielding friend, that we were born in a society that gives us dozens of different choices in managing our periods. Not only that we have a wholly overwhelming aisle of cereal to choose from along with 12 different types of milk and non-milk to pour over it. We can choose between dark or milk chocolate. You can think chocolate is gross and decide to go for a caramel treat instead. You can eat vegan or raw or ketogenically or like a pre-teen boy allowed to stay home alone for the first time (all of which are fun and we suggest you try).
Now that we’ve established that we’ve been dealt pretty good cards, what will you do with your winnings?
We all have constant demands for our money, so we’re not asking for any. If you would like to invest a little time keep reading. I’m going to tell you all about periods in Africa and how we can make them better.
Pretend you’re a 12 year old girl. Don’t shudder too much just yet.
Now pretend you’re camping in the middle of nowhere with no running water, air conditioning, or soft bed to rest your cramp-ridden, bleeding body on.
Oh, by the way, your mom didn’t come on this camping trip either. She’s not around to talk you through this or explain what’s happening.
You scrounge around and find some random material and fashion some sort of makeshift pads. Once the first one is saturated you wash it, let it dry, and do it all over again with the next one.
At defAtelier we don’t even like using the manufactured pads that come in the pretty plastic wrappings because, honestly, they’re pretty unreliable and don’t provide a whole lot of… ahem…protection.
You probably understand what we’re getting at. These are the kinds of things young women in the third world go through every day.
And those were just the practical aspects of it. We didn’t even mention the emotional trauma that comes along with starting your period and not being prepared for it. Speaking for American women, we typically have at least a couple of tampons on reserve in our purses. We’ve all snuck one up our sleeve at work on the way to the bathroom or started the telephone game of, “Do you have a tampon for my friend?” at the bar.
We decided to work with Building Foundations of Hope (BFoH) because the CEO and Founder, Becky Lintner, is amazing and one of our Founders, Dot Frederick, is on the Board of Directors. You might say we’re biased, and we are. But all that means is that we have a front row seat to the issues BFoH is addressing every day and we have first-hand accountability about the use of the funds we send to the organization.
A portion of every purchase goes directly to Building Foundations of Hope and addressing the need for period essentials in the Kagadi district of Uganda.
This project is still very very new, so we are still studying the best way to address the situation.
Right now we are considering two options:
1.) Have a constant supply of disposable hygiene products available at the local BFoH offices in Uganda.
2.) Provide 5-10 reusable pads to each of the young women enrolled in BFoH’s community programs. This sounds icky, right? But it’s a much more hygienic alternative and cloth pads are used by a large community of women in the US. Also, cloth diapers are a thing, we’re just sayin’.
This page will be updated, edited, and curated with relevant content as time marches on.
Read up on Building Foundations of Hope on their website!