For the month of April, and in honor of Mother’s Day, we want to shed the spotlight on one of our incredible partners, Lasallian Women of Hope.
Founded in 2016 with their Pad Project, LWH has given young girls and women access to education and is a pillar of support to end period poverty in various regions. To capture the full magnitude of LW, Maryann Donohue Lynch, co-founder of Lasallian Women of Hope, tells the story.
The conversation that sparked Lasallian Women of Hope started in 2016 when Lasallian educators were interviewing students at Mwangaza College in Nakuru, Kenya, and asked them about the barriers they face when it comes to attending school. Some of the answers were expected — like tuition fees and transportation — but one woman answered with her surprising yet vulnerable and harsh truth.
She would skip school during her menstrual cycle because she couldn’t afford the hygiene products she needed. If she had an exam during her cycle week, this student would go into town and prostitute herself to be able to buy feminine products just so she could go to school.
Educators were stunned by her response, but other female students were far too familiar with the situation, and we quickly realized that Lasallians could be doing more.
A Lasallian education is meant to remove the disproportionate education access in this region, but if the girls and women are engaging in situational prostitution to get there, are we really living the educational mission to its fullest?
Brother Oscar Okoth, Jane Wambui Mainah, and I co-founded Lasallian Women of Hope and launched our first Pad Project at that same college. It has then expanded to multiple countries with the hope of plenty more in the near future.
With generous donations, we work to give girls and women sustainable hygiene products to last more than just a month.
Our Pad Project is just the beginning as we work toward creating STEM programs, sewing projects, and hygiene education for girls and women. By partnering with FairTrade Caravans, we work together to empower women through good and honest work to gain access to education.
“Young girls with an education grow up, change society, and create opportunities for their daughters and other young women in their culture.”
In parts of the world where 15 million school-aged girls do not attend school, Lasallian Women of Hope and FairTrade Caravans are working to give educational access to women. The goods from FairTrade Caravans are primarily made by women so by purchasing these products, you are supporting the female workforce to help women. This cycle of women helping women respects and restores the dignity of the workers and the students.
“We are supporting work in the present so women can lead enriched lives, take care of their families, and contribute to society in impactful ways. This is sowing the seeds for future generations.”
Support Lasallian Women of Hope during their Spring and Mother’s Day Fundraiser where 25% of the proceeds will go directly to them where groundbreaking future projects can continue to change the lives of women all over the world.