About Us

 During his time in Mekelle, Lewis and his wife, Helen, and their friends, Mike and Lynn Coatney, became familiar with the work and story of Freweini Mebrahtu, founder of Mariam Seba Sanitary Products Factory.  

 In 2014, Dr. Lewis Wall spent eight months as a Fulbright Scholar in Ethiopia at the College of Health Sciences, Mekelle University, working to improve residency education in obstetrics and gynecology.




The challenge of menstrual hygiene in Ethiopia stood out as a problem that could be solved through dedicated outreach and a commitment to ethnographic and anthropological research and education.



 The Walls and the Coatneys worked with Mekelle University and Freweini to establish a partnership, and Dignity Period was born. Today, Dignity Period is expanding our work in Ethiopia to fight period poverty in places like St. Louis, MO and beyond. 


Our Partners

Mariam Seba Sanitary Products Factory

Mariam Seba Sanitary Products Factory, owned by Freweini Mebrahtu, is a local business with huge social impact.


Not only do they create a high-quality product, but they also hire and train local women. Learn more about the factory here.


Freweini was named the 2019 CNN Hero of the Year for her work to change the cultural stigma around periods.

Dignity Period partners with a university in Ethiopia to conduct research and provide educational support to the community. We also partner with a local factory, owned and operated by Ethiopians, to provide reusable sanitary pads.

Mekelle University

Mekelle University is a leading federal university with a reputation for collaboration and high-quality programs in Ethiopia.


We partner with Mekelle University to conduct research and provide education throughout the region.


Our Board

President of the Board

Vice President of the Board


of the Board

Board Director

Board Director


Our Team

Executive Director

joni kabana, photographer, dignity period


Administrative Assistant

Academic Resources


Misinformation and negative beliefs about menstruation are widespread. We’re working to understand this challenge with our research.

Menstrual Hygiene Management ETHIOPIA, 2017


Johns Hopkins Water Institute and the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health

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© 2020 Dignity Period

All photos are the property of the photographer Joni Kabana and Dignity Period. All rights reserved and cannot be used without permission.

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