Rugby volunteers use sewing skills to help fight the battle against period poverty

Team at Rugby Methodist Church Centre make reusable sanitary pads for females in Sierra Leone
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Hard-working volunteers in Rugby have been using their sewing skills to help make reusable sanitary pads for charity Extra Mile.

Members of The Rotary Club of Rugby Saturday Breakfast make reusable sanitary towels for girls in Sierra Leone.

Paula Boyd-Billings got a production team together a year ago and they operate in Rugby Methodist Church Centre each month to make these vital, discretionary aids for Extra Mile’s school in Sierra Leone.

Going the extra mile to help others - Mike, Paula and Alan.Going the extra mile to help others - Mike, Paula and Alan.
Going the extra mile to help others - Mike, Paula and Alan.

Using their sewing skills, the volunteers have made dozens of packs which also include waterproof bags and pants.

The project was launched after a visit from Mike Fielding, Founder of the UK registered charity Extra Mile, and his wife Jan Fielding.

Mike set up Extra Mile to give some of the most vulnerable children in Sierra Leone the chance to break out of the poverty cycle through education.

Many underprivileged African girls are missing a week of school each month because they cannot afford sanitary pads.

Helping females in Africa.Helping females in Africa.
Helping females in Africa.

Mike said: “With these packs the girls can manage this excruciating time with dignity and security. They miss fewer lessons and it’s no surprise when they begin to excel in their grades.”

He met Paula and Alan Wolstencroft, from Alan’s Africa, a schools' project set up by the Banbury Rotarian, at a meeting in Southam.

Period poverty looks like:

Having to use socks or toilet paper as makeshift pads

Schools having no suitable place to change

Stigma around periods in the community

School drop-outs and absenteeism

Shame and embarrassment around periods

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