37 days until Christmas!

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. 

| Your rating
No ratings yet

Related stories

Rob Scheer is proof that love wins!.

Love wins: From abused orphan to protector of many

Comment icon 16  

Rob Scheer refused to let abuse, being orphaned or homophobia shake his belief in the healing power of love. Watch his truly...

Kindness LGBTQI Community Family Relationships
3 months ago
Have you thought about donating those old blankets to an animal shelter? Picture: iStock.

10 thoughtful ways to brighten someone's day

Comment icon 16

Because there is never a bad day to pay it forward.

Community Relationships Kindness
3 months ago
It’s about listening to the stories of all of us at our best; the stories that weave us together as humans.

Five life lessons from an ageing activist

Comment icon 16

A 50-year journey of learning to appreciate my gifts and place them where they can make a difference; and of letting go of what...

Relationships Community Kindness
4 months ago
Let's reflect on our capacity for compassion in today's society.

Where has all the compassion gone?

Comment icon 16

We would rather hurt the good people than accept a few bad people. Where has all the compassion gone?

Social Issues Opinion Kindness
5 months ago
Going on to find work, thanks to Women For Women In Africa.

Women For Women In Africa making a difference

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
5 months ago

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
5 months ago
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?

6 months ago
The author believes the merger of many charities would be in the best interests of the needy.

Why do charities exist?

Comment icon 16

Should charities exist for the communities they serve and act accordingly, no matter the ramifications? I say yes!

Volunteering Support a Cause Kindness
6 months ago
Malay weddings are one of the most culturally rich and well-preserved traditions in the world.

Malay event highlights how much WA has changed

Comment icon 16

From the standard sea of white faces in the 1960s, Western Australia has blossomed into a culturally diverse state where...

Western Australia Kindness Community Relationships
7 months ago
Is something wiser and kinder emerging from the flames of Christianity? Picture: iStock.

Where to now for Christianity?

Comment icon 16

The status of Christianity as it was for centuries is dwindling. Can simple kindness fill the void?

Relationships Kindness
7 months ago
Trending stories
Malcolm Turnbull.

Australia's most disappointing Prime Minister

Why Malcolm Turnbull tops...

(Money & Business) 4 days ago

What is Australian culture?

I see nothing that makes...

(Entertainment & Culture) 2 days ago
This gaming practice is enraging people.

Corporate greed leads to gaming PR fail

Imagine buying a Star Wars...

(Money & Business) 3 days ago
Poet Robert Frost.

Travelling the road not taken

How on earth did the US,...

(Entertainment & Culture) 3 days ago
Weekly Poll
Memory lane
YsPeople proudly supports
Yspeople logo new.tiny