Worldwide over 500 000 menstruators do not have access to adequate menstrual products. In Zimbabwe, an estimated 72% of menstruating school-aged girls cannot afford menstrual products and with an estimated 90% rate of unemployment most families struggle to afford basic necessities, including menstrual products. Those in rural communities, particularly women and girls are the hardest hit due to limited resources, dwindling job opportunities and gender inequality.
Each purchase of G&N products goes to supporting the initiatives and programs of The Grace & Nelly Project in rural communities in Zimbabwe. Founded in 2016, The Grace & Nelly Project is a not-for-profit organization working to help women and girls in rural communities reach financial and economic independence. To achieve this goal, The Grace & Nelly Project provides free reusable menstrual products to girls attending school and is working to provide women in rural communities with the tools, skills and training they require to find employment, start and maintain businesses, and create job opportunities.
To date The Grace & Nelly Project has supplied over 1000 free menstrual pads and kits to girls from 14 rural villages. This has ensured that the girls who received these pads did not miss school due to their period. They also had access to a more hygienic way to manage their period instead of resorting to old rags, leaves and sometimes sand. G&N has also provided over 150 women from these rural communities with business and entrepreneurship training. With the funding that will come from the sale of reusable pads through G&N, The Grace & Nelly Project plans to:
- Provide more girls with free reusable menstrual pads
- Subsidize the cost of pads sold to women in rural communities so that these women have access to affordable menstrual products that meet their needs
- Expand the number of workshops it offers to women so they can build their knowledge base and become successful entrepreneurs and job seekers
- Create new employment opportunities by employing women in these rural communities to make G&N reusable pads
Other impacts include
- The growth of the local agriculture and textile industry in Zimbabwe as most materials used for the reusable pads can be sourced from local producers in Zimbabwe
- The reduced number of plastics that end up in landfills from the use of disposable products
For more on The Grace & Nelly Project, visit www.graceandnelly.org.