Dignity Dreams was launched on 1 July 2013 in Pretoria. It’s hard to imagine that there are 2.1 million young girls, between the ages of 12 and 18 years that are living below the poverty line in South Africa, who have to resort to using old clothes, rags, newspapers, leaves, bark and grass because they cannot afford sanitary towels. Girls who cannot afford pads or tampons miss approximately five days of school a month, which amounts to 60 missed school days a year.
This problem not only affect school girls, but women at all stages of life. In poor communities, varsity students, mothers, working women and elderly ladies are also unable to afford sanitary hygiene products, which makes this cause all the more important. The lack of affordable sanitary products for girls and women keeps them at a disadvantage in terms of education when they are young and prevents their mobility and productivity as women.
Every girl in South Africa deserves access to safe and hygienic sanitary products. Our goal is to help girls/women reclaim the dignity that poverty denies them and will enable girls to make a lasting and positive impact on the communities they live in and society as a whole – they will complete high school, will be less likely to get HIV/AIDS or fall pregnant before they reach the age of 18 years, and will likely earn higher wages and successfully educate their own children.
Dignity Dreams’ Solution
Dignity Dreams reusable sanitary pads are a sustainable resource, allowing girls to wash and re-use them rather than having to buy non-reusable sanitary pads every month. In addition, they are inexpensive and environmentally friendly. The social benefit of the implementation of this concept can greatly mitigate the disadvantages many disempowered girls endure during their process of maturing.
Dignity Dream’s re-usable sanitary pads are environmentally friendly. Disposable sanitary pads take up to 500 years to disintegrate. They are either sent to landfills or go through the sewage system and end up polluting the ocean and beaches. Dignity Dreams re-usable sanitary pads never end up in the refuse and therefore do not pollute the environment.
The organisation prides itself in its contribution to lower unemployment. They employ unskilled women in Pretoria, thereby transferring skills and contributing to their economic empowerment.
Who needs it?
On 9th July 2013, the organisation successfully rolled out Dignity Dreams in Graskop, Mpumalanga, under the auspices of Child Welfare. Although they were aware of the impact of not having sanitary towels was having on schoolgirls, Dignity Dreams never realised that entire households and communities were being affected.
Young girls don’t really understand what happens to their bodies during their periods and are embarrassed to chat to their mothers and /or caregivers. Dignity Dreams will allow them to confidently take part of each facet of their schooling.
Due to the fact that they are older, they are more acutely aware of not having access to decent sanitary towels. This causes these students to feel inferior to their fellow students who do have access to sanitary towels. Dignity Dreams will give them an opportunity to excel in all fields, regardless of their socio-economic status.
Caregivers and mothers
These remarkable women who often work under very harsh conditions have that problems were just as significant, their fears the same, as those of the younger girls. Their poverty prevents them from buying sanitary towels which erodes their dignity and confidence. In urban communities, menstrual cycles mean having to take time off work or having to pay for expensive products. Due to Dignity Dreams they and their girl children can now use safe, hygienic products at a lesser rate.
Elderly and frail ladies
There is a need to provide Dignity Dreams packs to elderly and frail to be used as panty liners. Because Old Age Homes and Hospices are cash strapped, the management welcomes the product.
Dignity Dreams is proud to say they have handed out 1 000 Dignity Dreams packages since the launch date. The warm reception from beneficiaries proved how necessary this initiative is. This is a nationwide project which has reached people in Graskop (Mpumalanga), Durban (KwaZulu-Natal), Johannesburg (Gauteng) and Atteridgeville (Gauteng).
Dignity Dreams Packages
The Dignity Dreams reusable sanitary towels are available in pretty and feminine packs because every girl deserves to feel confident and beautiful with what they wear.
Platinum Pack: R110.00 each
1x drawstring bag; 2x waterproof shields; 7x flannel liners; 3x pairs of panties; 1x plastic bag; 1x illustrated instruction page.
Gold Pack: R80.00 each
1x drawstring bag; 2x waterproof shields; 5x flannel liners; 2x pairs of panties; 1x plastic bag; 1x illustrated instruction page.
Silver Pack: R60.00 each
1x drawstring bag; 1x waterproof shields; 3x flannel liners; 1x pair of panties; 1x plastic bag; 1x illustrated instruction page.
To view Dignity Dreams in the Prodder NGO Directory, click here.