Nearly five years ago we had some ladies making pads to sell as an income generation idea. They made and sold pads using recycled fabric. It went OK but was not the big success we hoped. Sometimes we think we have to wait to the right time for things to work. We plant seeds and can’t always decide when they will grow.
We stayed really passionate about giving older women who were using sari squares a good alternative and influencing young girls who were using ready made pads to use recyclable fabric pads. Our main objective was to save expenses for vulnerable women and to stop pollution of ready made pads. Recently one day Sarah didi gave us gift of enterprise kits made by Days for Girls. It was so good and didn’t leak like many fabric pads. There was a good information sheet for young girls about their periods. Our ladies who were sewing pads were using old fabric and old quilt covers but saw that these ones were very effective. We did some research and found that definitely girls will buy these pads even though they were more expensive to make than the ones we were making. The two young girls in our photo were very happy to buy our pads.
In talks we do all around the community, we help them to realise that every month a girl has to buy two packets of ready made pads which costs NRs 1700/- (approx AUD21…a lot for a young girl in Nepal!) but if they spend less money on the fabric pads they will last for three years! And when they use the ready made pads where do they throw them? Where is the waste all going and how much is it making pollution? Inspired by knowing that we could sell the pads, I spoke with DfG Nepal Enterprise office in Kathmandu and have visited the office. I have took our sewing ladies to Kathmandu for to see the office and we talked with them about being Enterprise of Samunnat Nepal ladies in Jhapa. Now DfG International accepted our application and we will start the training so soon. We are very excited about this partnership with DfG and the training and support we will have from them.
Would contributions of new fabrics help your new enterprise?
Hello lovely Lee Ann, thank you for thinking of this! I think the Days for Girls people dos this by linking people up with their own country groups. They like to resource things from the actual countries to help entrepreneurs there I think. This link might help: https://www.daysforgirls.org/search-maps
Of course using recycled pads makes sense for all reasons. I wish people in the west were as conscious of the environment. Good luck with this new venture. As my old grandmother used to say “all the time she’s thinking”… You have so many good ideas. Keep them coming. You are making a difference in many ways.
Hello lovely Barb, Kopila calls the ready made pads “lazy pads” and it certainly challenged me where we, in the west, so many of us don’t (didn’t) even consider the environmental problems! Thanks for always being so encouraging!
well what a coincidence I have just joined the days for girls team but working as a solo sewist still learning all the tricks