Menstrual Hygiene Day is recognized around the world annually on May 28, but at Saalt, every day is Menstrual Hygiene Day. The goal of MHD is to raise awareness and break down stigmas surrounding Menstrual Health Management (MHM). Saalt seeks out and supports partners around the globe who work tirelessly to educate communities about MHM and provide tools for all who menstruate to do so with dignity. To celebrate this Menstrual Hygiene Day 2020, we wanted to share some of the current projects we're working on together with our impact partners to break down stigmas and fight inequality.
DROTY Uganda is on a mission to improve menstrual hygiene among disadvantaged, school-aged youth in rural communities. Their large-scale events and community activism help to eliminate the stigma around menstruation, educate about reproductive health, promote student empowerment, and encourage young girls to stay in school. Since 2018, Saalt has supported DROTY's mission by donating hundreds of cups and funding the building of three VIP latrines at primary schools in the Kyotera region of Uganda in 2019.
To raise funds to build additional latrines and share their mission, DROTY holds an annual fun run in correlation with International Women's Day in March. The event draws thousands of community participants who learn about menstruation and MHM through the loudspeakers while groups of students teach classes on sewing reusable pads among event performances and festivities. At Saalt, we love how the Fun Run events don't shy away from the sometimes hushed discussion surrounding menstruation, but instead, encourage open discussion as part of the main event. This year Saalt was pleased to sponsor a portion of the Fun Run, attended by nearly 3,000 participants!
Style Her Empowered
Style Her Empowered is an Idaho nonprofit organization that creates education and employment opportunities for women around the globe. When the team at SHE identified the cost of school uniforms and lack of menstrual supplies as root causes for school absences, they went to work to create long-term solutions. Focusing their work in the West African country of Togo, SHE works with community members to ensure each student in their program receives a new school uniform, full-tuition scholarship, reusable menstrual supplies, and year-round support. To supply their efforts, SHE employs full-time seamstresses in their zero-waste factory to make school uniforms, reusable menstrual pads, and other products they donate to girls and women. Menstrual health education and management is a seamless part of the care that is provided by SHE mentors in Togo. Saalt supports these efforts through ongoing donations of menstrual cups that have become a vital part of the SHE programs.
Her International, Saalt's first impact partner, creates positive learning environments where women and girls can take charge of their education and learn ways to enrich their own lives. Saalt has primarily worked with the Her International program in Dang, Nepal where they provide scholarships, support groups, business education, and social enterprise opportunities for women. The COVID-19 outbreak has forced many organizations to shift their methods and our partners have happily risen to the challenge. Her International has found ways to continue serving their members through new means, which included launching the first Gather Online Webinar Series, an online group where women and girls can continue to partake in collaborative learning. Saalt was given the opportunity to present during the first webinar where we spoke about the importance of menstrual health, as well the benefits of choosing a sustainable period care option. Saalt is honored to be connected with a group that recognizes that when women have the necessary resources to care for their menstrual health, they are that much more empowered to take on the world.
Improving global menstrual hygiene is a core tenet of Saalt. All menstruators have a right to a safe and dignifying period. We work with amazing partners to empower individuals with knowledge and long-term solutions to improve their menstrual health, which increases gender equality and opens conversations that bring awareness and break down social stigmas. We believe that people empowered and equipped to live their element can change the world.