Today I want to share an update with you about the power of community and connection.
Remember Amber and Cherie of Saalt Co.? It feels like just yesterday that I introduced them to you. Talking to them was an education for me — and an inspiration. They decided to start a company that created menstrual cups to help women all over the world.
Amber and Cherie told me that periods aren’t just hard because they give women cramps. They are hard for some women because they place burdens on them. For women in third world countries, #menstruationmatters because it’s one of the most stressful times to manage.
Feminine products are expensive in countries like Uganda. Women and girls have to choose between buying maxi pads or a meal. They might also make their own not-so-hygienic versions with old paper bags or cloth. More times than not, they go without tampons or pads, which means their lives are disrupted for a week. Women won’t go to work, and girls won’t go to school. They hide in disgrace, without dignity.
Amber and Cherie want to change this problem, so they started a movement around the menstrual cup. Their product, Saalt, allows women around the world to move freely without worrying about frequently changing a tampon or purchasing them regularly. Their product is also environmentally friendly and lasts for more than one decade.
A Founder’s Cry
One person who saw my article on Saalt was Timothy Arnold, founder of Dreams of the Tropical Youth Uganda. This youth-led nonprofit operates in Kyotera and Rakai Districts of Uganda and works with vulnerable and disadvantaged rural people ages 13 to 30. Timothy contacted me via Facebook in August after reading my blog article on Cherie and Amber.
Timothy’s email tugged at my heart! It read:
“Hello there, Terri. Could you be passionate about unprivileged girls and women empowerment? We have a program to train vulnerable rural girls to make reusable sanitary pads so that they can keep in school. We kindly seek your support/advice towards this move. Thank you!”
If you know me well, you know I’m as action-oriented as they come. I sent the founders of Saalt an email asking if they would help Timothy and his tribe with a donation. The ladies didn’t hesitate to say yes! They sent 40 menstrual cups to Uganda, as well as tools and information to help the women and girls use these new products.
I squealed so loud this past weekend when I received a second email from Timothy:
“Menstrual cups are a new innovation in the field of menstrual health management, and we taught these girls how to use them and we await for their feedback. Sauda, a primary 6 disabled girl, greatly appreciates this move about their experience with the use of the menstrual cups. We are going to give them some time to use them. The training was conducted through the health club that we formed with help from the senior women.”
Words in a Facebook message never gave me chills until that day. And tears flowed as I read Timothy’s post . Tears flow again as write this article to share a successful update with you.
I must admit something to you, #Firestarter. When I faithfully launched my blog on March 27, 2018, I knew it was something I was called to do. I also knew that I would find happiness in telling the stories of others. I wasn’t so sure I was going to change people’s lives.
Looking back on my early blogging days, I leaned more on fear of failure than trust or faith. Timothy and his tribe in Uganda are a reminder that what we do is bigger than our own lives. We are a community of humans, connected by the air we breathe and a collective that should lean on each other throughout life. Timothy is helping Ugandan youth realize their dreams and understand empowerment. Thank you, Timothy. Your determination and strength have helped me, too. You truly are a leader who has turned a moment into a movement and has taught us all to never forget that we have the power to change the world!
For those of you that think one person can’t initiate change, I’ll leave you with these quotes from the girls who received the Saalt cups.
“When I first saw blood on my dress, I cried so hard thinking that I was bewitched. Little did I know that I was going through a normal body change. I find it hard most times to ask my father for sanitary pads because I know he can’t afford them regularly. I am happy to learn about Saalt Co menstrual cups (and they will last) a very long time.” -Namwanje Lydia, Primary 5
“During my period I carry a sweater and wrap it around my waist to avoid the stares whenever I get up. Boys once teased me when I soiled my uniform and taunted me saying that I slaughtered a hen. I am happy Dreams of Tropical Youth Uganda has given me a Saalt Co menstrual cup because of this I pledge to stay in school.” – Nakimera Joan
“My name is Nuriat and I am in Primary 6. I am disabled. My life is too challenging to have to deal with the trauma of my disability and menstruation. I feel so sad when boys bully us (because of our periods) and I find it hard to attend school whenever I’m on my periods.” -Nuriat, Primary 6
PS. If you’d like to support their efforts to #KeepGirlsInSchools because #MenstruationMatters, please email me at Tribe@TerriBWilliams.com. Timothy says they can’t take donations over the internet, but I’ll connect you with him so he can share the available options.
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