Rachael Santillan
September 18, 2015

As a child, many dream of becoming something great… a doctor, a teacher, an engineer. For girls in impoverished areas of the world these dreams are harder to obtain. I recently returned from Ghana where I learned thousands of girls are forced to stop working, going to school, and interacting as part of society simply because they have to deal with something all women deal with, periods. Without the means of obtaining sanitary pads, girls miss months of school each year. Many attempt to hide their menstruation by relying on crude materials such as scraps of old clothing, cornhusks, or even mud. These improvisations are not effective and can put them at a high risk for infection.

Non profit, Bright Generation Community Foundation, is committed to reaching girls in the most remote areas of Ghana who not only need access to sanitary pads but also education about proper hygiene and STDs. This effort will prevent them from missing 30-50 days of school per year. Lower risk of infection and education about reproduction and the effects of STDs could be potentially life saving.

As the parent of a teenage girl, and a women myself, I can think of nothing more frustrating then having to sit on the sideline while everyone else gets to join in the game. In this instance there is an easy solution and you can be a part of it!

Visit http://igg.me/at/brightgeneration to contribute to the Menstrual Pads for Dignity Campaign and help further women’s education in rural Ghana!

Santillan is has been a freelance photographer for over 17 years and started her own business, Cotton Dalia. She spends her free time working on efforts to bring aid to women and children being rescued from poverty and trafficking.