Menstruation is a normal part of being a woman. An average woman will be on her period for 2535 days in her lifetime, which is almost 7 years. It is puzzling how something that literally half the world experiences can still be connected to so much stigma and myth. How something that is vitally important for humans to exist can have such a negative impact on a girl's chance to get an education.
In rural Zambia many girls don't have access to sanitary pads. That will make them stay at home during their periods and miss important lessons. While in developed countries girls are usually a little bit ahead of boys when it comes to grades, the grades of Zambian girls are significantly lower than the ones of their male classmates. One of the reasons for this is the number of missed days during periods.
In cooperation with One Dollar for Life Raise a Smile has given out kits of washable pads that can use again and again to girls at schools across Mambwe District. Besides the distribution of pads we have also held workshops about female health and reproduction to spread desperately needed information and help lower teenage pregnancies.