Stranger

Help level the field for schoolgirls in Vanuatu


Thumb 20151120 174158

About Maxine

Ys editor-in-chief and campaigner of your causes. You can email me here.


In the first of our Aussie Charities Abroad series, we look at a CARE Australia crowdfunding campaign getting menstruating girls back to school.

In developing countries, life can be a little tougher for girls, specially once they hit puberty. 

Getting girls back to school in Vanuatu.

Getting girls back to school in Vanuatu. Picture: Care Australia

In fact, in Vanuatu, the onset of something as natural as menstruation can often result in students missing school - sometimes up to five days a month.

Can you imagine your own daughters or grandaughters having to miss up to a month of school a year, simply because they have their period? That’s a month of lost education each year; a month of missing out on opportunities that come so readily to boys.

But why are they missing school, I hear you ask?

Well, it comes down to a number of factors. The primary one is poverty - and a lack of sanitary pads.

Also, cultural taboos discourage girls and women from various activities, including cooking, during menstruation - contributing to a general belief that periods are unclean.

And while these girls are often not taught about the changes happening to their bodies, boys are often reinforcing the taboos and stigma around periods and puberty.

Ensuring girls have the same opportunities as boys to go to school is an important building block for equality in the future.

And this is where CARE Australia comes into the picture. As it says: "No girl should miss out on school. Period."

CARE Australia is currently trying to raise $44,000 to provide reusable, washable pads to girls in Tanna, Vanuatu. This money will provide 560 girls at 10 schools with a hygiene kit, training materials and awareness sessions about menstrual and reproductive health. Students are selected as Champions to train and support other girls.

You can click through to that crowdfunding page here.

A donation as low as $28 can provide a girl with a full hygiene kit, including pads. $100 can provide a kit along with training materials and awareness sessions so they understand what is happening to their bodies and use the pads effectively.

No girl should miss school. Period.


Each girl will receive a hygiene kit containing two pad holders to clip to her underpants, eight washable and reusable pad liners, two pairs of underwear, hand soap, laundry detergent and a bucket for washing her pads.

These reusable pads will provide peace of mind for girls, ensuring they can go to school every day rather than waiting at home for their period to end.

Reusable sanitary pads are changing lives.

Reusable sanitary pads are changing lives. Picture: Care Australia

The pads are made by Mamma’s Laef – a Vanuatu social enterprise employing local women. So you’re not just supporting girls to go to school; you’re also helping women earn an income.

CARE country director in Vanuatu Megan Chisolm said: "What we've got is direct feedback from teachers who've been seeing that the girls' attendance is more regular and there are less absences.

"The thing I love about this program is that it's very simple intervention, but it is very powerful.

"All my staff love this program."

The campaign runs until June 23. 

Blogger campaign
| Your rating
No ratings yet


Related Stories

Women For Women In Africa

Comment icon 16  

In part two of our Australian Charities Abroad series: Making a change in East Africa's largest slum

Africa Kindness Support a Cause
Expand
(Kindness)

Thoughtful ways to help the homeless over winter

Comment icon 16

Five constructive ways to help the homeless over winter, without giving money.

Business Homeless Support a Cause Kindness
Tiny 20151120 174158 By Maxine Brown
Expand
3 days ago
(Kindness)

Simple acts of kindness can change a refugee's life

Comment icon 16

Jean is a lawyer fluent in five languages. He's currently working at a supermarket.

Australia Community Kindness
Originally from huffingtonpost.com.au
Expand
4 days ago
(Kindness)

Poor countries more generous to refugees than us

Comment icon 16

Australia’s efforts would suggest we’re losing a sense of our shared humanity.

Support a Cause Kindness Politics Australia
Originally from huffingtonpost.com.au
Expand
5 days ago
(Kindness)

CEOs to reveal home truths about homelessness

Comment icon 16

We have a broken, unfair and unaffordable housing system.

Kindness Business Support a Cause
Originally from huffingtonpost.com.au
Expand
6 days ago
(Kindness)

Couple spend 26 years replanting deforested sanctuary

Comment icon 16

Pamela and Anil Malhotra own India's only private wildlife sanctuary - and have been replanting and protecting forests and...

Kindness Animals Environment
Originally from boredpanda.com
Expand
19 days ago
(Kindness)

Feeding the needy through landfill food rescue effort

Comment icon 16

Food Rescue is helping more than 11,000 people secure a meal each week, just by rescuing food destined for landfill.

Support a Cause Food
Originally from abc.net.au
Expand
19 days ago
(Kindness)

Meet the woman buying houses for the homeless

Comment icon 16

A woman has been so moved by the sight of Melbourne's homeless people that she has started buying houses for them.

Money Kindness Homeless
Originally from abc.net.au
Expand
25 days ago
(Kindness)

Andrew Forrest: 6 reasons Nicola and I gave $400m to charity

Comment icon 16

Giving is truly the most satisfying form of investment.

Money Business Support a Cause
Originally from huffingtonpost.com.au
Expand
25 days ago
(Kindness)
I’m constantly humbled by the kindness and courage of so-called “ordinary” people as they tackle the many challenges that life delivers, yet still work toward a better future.

Let's show up for our shared future!

Comment icon 16

What future are you showing up for? Does it represent what you really want?

Tiny yachts purple  2 By Wendy Campbell
Expand
About 1 month ago
(Kindness)

Great YsFriends offers!

Z5d8drm37bzhm33amvgm
Manget blogger
Have your say

Start blogging now. You can change the world.

Iq4qc6ugdvzh5ennexax
Abc logo small 1
News Fix

24/7 ABC News Service

Watch
Ng23x1xbjnmxvunsxkqm
Manget advertise
Advertise with us

Promote your store on Ys.

Beat this!
J4dwrcn7autahig9k8xb
Foodbank logo 1
Weekly Poll

Stay up to date and get special offers first with our weekly YsPeople newsletter.

Join