We work with artisans all over the world to bring our subscribers beautiful handmade products. Every month, our Artisan Fund raises money for one of those groups, so that as well as helping to create fair and stable wages for artisans, we can contribute to projects that matter to their community. We work closely with our partners to create a program that meets the specialized needs of a particular group.
This month, we’re launching an Artisan Fund in Northwest India to continue our ongoing commitment to our partner communities in the area.
For the September Artisan Fund, we are raising $1,800 to provide 6 months worth of menstrual pads to 200 people.
In India, only 12% who menstruate use sanitary pads. A 2016 report by the FSG research consultancy found that the remaining 88% of people utilize other means… and we’re not just talking old cloth and saris. An astonishing amount of people use unhygienic materials in place of sanitary pads, such as sand, ash, newspapers, and plastic.
Menstruation is a taboo topic in India, and that means that during their menstrual cycle, some people even stay home instead of going to work or school, meaning their education or family income can be disrupted on a monthly basis.
At GlobeIn, we work with communities that are located in more rural areas in northwest India. Most people there live in small homes and they do not feel comfortable washing reusable pads and hanging them out to dry for others to see. Plus, if reusable pads are not properly cleaned and dried, they can cause infections.
There are many other means to deal with menstruation cycles, such as menstrual cups and biodegradable options. But menstrual cups have a large barrier to entry and have to be properly handled, and currently biodegradable options are expensive and not realistic for the artisans to purchase on a normal basis. The solutions that the communities are currently using are used in a similar way to pads, so the transition to using sanitary pads will be simpler than introducing other types of products.
Our partner talked to his local contacts on the ground, and they reported that providing a multiple-month solution for pads would greatly help. Currently, the artisans are not using any type of pad so this will be a positive and healthy shift for them.
Our goal this month is to raise $1,800, which would enable us to purchase 6 months of pads for 200 people (accounting for 7-10 pads per cycle).
Excitingly, our partner, Matr Boomie has agreed to match the amount that we raise—so that means we will be able to provide a total of 6 months of pads for 400 people!
The team at Matr Boomie explains why the goal of this project is to supply menstrual pads for 6 months.
“The goal of this program is to bring awareness around menstrual hygiene to women in rural and low income groups. At the end of 6 months, the women would be more familiar with using pads and aware of its benefits. Our hope is that most women who are making a living would start using pads on their own. There would be some women who won’t be able to afford these pads on their own. Matr Boomie is working on a long-term give back program to sponsor pads for women in that low-income bracket. We do believe that just the awareness about menstrual hygiene is an important achievement and something that will serve these women in the long-term, even if they are not able to afford them in the short-term after the program ends.”
– Matr Boomie
To help the artisans with their new menstrual products, the local coordinator will run a group meeting, where the artisans will be given the pads and will learn about menstrual hygiene and how to care for themselves during their cycles.
All of the pads will be purchased locally by small vendors to drive more economic activity in the area.
Since periods are a taboo topic, please note that we may not be able to collect formalized data for this Artisan Fund.
As a reminder, the Artisan Fund is a pool of money that is used for the development of artisan communities. 100% of the proceeds go directly towards community workshops for a predetermined artisan group. We collaborate with them to understand how the money is best spent, based on their needs.
Click here to contribute: Log in to your Subscription Settings, scroll to the September add-ons, and choose your contribution amount!