My name is Frédérique. I am a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and am currently in school to become a registered nurse. I have created a project called Pads for Power. My project includes collecting disposable menstrual products and donating these to homeless shelters in Vancouver. It also includes making homemade reusable pads that will then be sent to women and girls around the world. Many women and girls living in rural settings in developing countries do not have access to any kind of menstrual products. Consequently, they must stay at home and miss up to a week of work or school every single month. These contributions mean that these girls and women, both near and far, will have the freedom to go to school or work every day and, in turn, the power to achieve greater success in life.
This is the story of how this project came about:
I was gifted an immense amount of pads and tampons from a post-menopausal friend a few months back. I wondered what to do with all of them since I already had my own little supply and didn’t feel the need to be “ready” years in advance. I had the idea of giving them to a friend from school who would be travelling to Tanzania, Africa. She was going to help with the creation of medical and education systems in rural areas. I knew there was a great need for feminine hygiene products in these areas. Unfortunately, she had no extra space for all my pads and tampons and I had to keep them all. Soon after, I started a self-development class (in leadership) in which one must create a community project. That is when I decided to finally do SOMETHING with all those pads. I would find a way to get them to women who needed them. I knew I could increase the benefits of my project by gathering menstrual products from other women and, also, creating homemade reusable pads (a more eco-friendly option). I had read about Lunapads International in a magazine and briefly visited their site and decided to give them a call to enquire about their similar project and their shipping process. Not only did they explain the process but they even said they would help me by sending the reusable pads I created to organizations working in foreign countries! I was delighted to hear this and have been working hard at collecting and making pads since. So far I have collected and donated just over 400 disposable pads and tampons to a local shelter but my goal is to reach and help as many women as possible both near and far.
If you are interested in contributing disposable feminine hygiene products, materials to make reusable pads or would like to help make the pads please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
PS: the picture included is of me and my very first handmade pad