21 October 2010

Sustainable Health Enterprises

I have been very passionate about helping women for years and recently I found this AWESOME organization that adresses the world's social-economic problems with sustainable market-based solutions. This organization is called SHE Sustainable Health Enterprises. They focus primarily on health issues in developing countries. One major health issue in developing countries is when the women and teenage girls begin menstruation. The women in these countries lack access to affordable, eco-friendly sanitary products and services for the menstruation needs. As of right now millions of women in Asia, Africa, South and Central America cannot afford sanitary pads. Since they can not afford pads they use rags, bark and even MUD instead. It's not enough protection, and is unsanitary and can cause many other health issues. Most of these teenage girls miss up to 50 days of school every year, and the older women miss about that many days of work because of the lack of access to sanitary pads. That's A LOT of time lost every year. Not only are the women losing out on money and education, the communities are losing at as well. SHE was established to find a solution to this problem.

What does SHE do to solve this problem?

Well, first they get money to buy sewing machines for women in the areas where they need sanitary pads. Then they teach them how to make sanitary pads out of banana fibers (which is now made into a cash crop, instead of just being thrown away) and then the women can sell them to their friends in the community (for much lower prices than regular brand name pads).

It's a win-win situation all around. SHE wants to fulfill the unmet needs for sanitary napkins and help the women start businesses of their own, which brings more money to their families and the communities as a whole. And since they use local materials the low prices and availability are ensured.

I love how this organization is all about SUSTAINABILITY. Instead of giving the women boxes of pads or tampons, they are teaching them how to make them and sell them.

To learn more about SHE visit their website at www.sheinnovates.com/index.html

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