I recently came upon this wonderful campaign while on Twitter (I am a self-professed Twitter junkie). Withall of the needless suffering, war, and poverty in the world, it can be overwhelming for us to even know where to begin to help those in need. I am all about keeping things simple so that we can manage tasks and take concrete steps towards positive change within ourselves and the world around us. She Innovates couldn’t be simpler or more concrete.
Here’s a bit of history behind this wonderful initiative:
In 2008, a young Harvard graduate student named Elizabeth Scharpf and three MIT students headed to Rwanda with a blender in their backpacks. What they came away with was a sustainable plan to tackle an urgent, global problem: girls’ and women’s lack of access to affordable menstrual pads.
Here are the statistics for five years due to this situation in Rwanda:
2.8 MIL MENSTRUATING FEMALES
$215 IN LOST INCOME PER FEMALE PER YEAR
18% MISS SCHOOL BECAUSE NO LOW-COST PADS
$115 MIL POTENTIAL LOSS IN GDP PER YEAR
Elizabeth launched SHE and soon joined forces with a global network of technical, program, and business partners. With their first initiative, the SHE28 campaign (you absolutely MUST watch the accompanying video) this amazing group of activists are debunking the myth that donated pads is a long- term solution to this problem. The solution?
SHE is helping women jumpstart social businesses to manufacture and distribute affordable menstrual pads made from banana fibers (a sustainable and local product). They have even developed their own brand of locally produced, affordable pads and are educating teachers about menstrual hygiene to pass on to their students. Read their fascinating website to learn about even more initiatives they are undertaking. The word “inspirational” is an understatement! Also, see how you can get involved if you so choose. I am thinking that the next time a girlfriend of mine has a birthday, I will be donating $28 to the SHE 28 Campaign in her name. Now, if that’s not ‘women helping women, I don’t know what is.