Did you know that the average American woman owns approximately 21 pairs of underwear? About 10% of women own over 35 pairs.
Did you know underwear can mean the difference between a girl who’s educated with a chance for a bright future, and one who’s not?
Sometimes it just blows my mind how much I don’t know. Recently I learned some not-fun facts about the challenges facing women in Uganda, including the challenge of underwear. But I also learned something I can do about it. And boy that feels good.
I’ve written before that our daughter Maggie is working in Northern Uganda this summer at Pader Girls’ Academy. They teach and give vocational training to girls, many who have escaped the Lords’ Resistance Army, but can’t return to their communities. They have become outcasts because of the stigma of being raped by soldiers or having babies out of wedlock.
But even after they have a tiny glimpse of hope for the future through education, there are still hurdles. For example, I learned that girls often miss about 5 days of school a month when they have their period because they don’t have sanitary pads. Or underwear.
Are you freaking kidding me?
So here’s what Maggie has been doing. She is teaching the girls to write letters to different companies to empower them to advocate for themselves. They’re writing letters to personal hygiene companies asking for donations. How cool is that?
“I am a total orphan girl who have lose both parents and up to now am alone and am struggling for my school fee and requirements and am always working in people’s garden to get some resources. But not only me but also other student are also working for the resources like pads, knickers, soap and towels. And we are missing class because of menstruation period…if these things are provided, it will make learning to be easy for us girls. And I would like to be a nurse in future.”
Maggie’s hope is to have a closet at the academy, stocked with supplies that could be accessed by any student in need.