Every year around this time, millions of girls are going back to school, excited for what a new year can hold.
But for many girls who have their periods, going back to school can be a stressful time. Depending on where they live and the amount of period stigma they face, girls fear missing school, falling behind, and even dropping out.
When research uncovered that period poverty was a factor in our hometown of St. Louis, MO, we knew we could help. We partnered with local organizations in the Alliance for Period Supplies to provide education and reusable menstruation supplies to girls and women in need in St. Louis. That critical work was featured last month in St. Louis Magazine.
As the article mentions, our outreach includes working with certain schools in the community to understand the needs of their students better, and to supply girls with reusable pad kits that are produced locally by Cotton Babies. These are the same type of pad kids that have been so beneficial to girls in Ethiopia.
The Dignity Period team recently attended Annual Registration at Jennings High School in North St. Louis to engage girls there in discussions about their menstruation supply needs. The response was extremely positive, with 35% of the girls in attendance signing up to learn about our sustainable pad kit and providing feedback.
The goal of this initiative is two-pronged: 1) to provide immediate support to girls who may not have the proper menstruation supplies, and 2) to better understand how organizations like Dignity Period can support the ongoing menstruation needs of girls in need in the United States.
We’re just beginning to understand the extent of period poverty in places like St. Louis, but our success in Ethiopia provides a solid foundation for expanding our reach. We’re also anticipating new research from Dr. Anne Sebert Kuhlmann, Dignity Period Board Member, and her team on this important topic.
In September each year, Dignity Period’s Shameless Back-to-School Campaign brings awareness to menstrual health as a global issue and raises funds to meet the menstrual health needs of schoolgirls. Learn more about the campaign here and support Dignity Period’s efforts to send girls back to school with dignity – in Ethiopia and St. Louis and beyond – by making a donation today.
For a limited time, we'll send you either a Dignity Period tote bag or Dignity Period hat with a minimum donation of $100. Be sure to make your selection during checkout!
Thank you for helping us send girls #backtoschoolwithdignity!