There are other kinds of love as well. I recall a cartoon strip called “Love Is,” which often depicted acts of kindness that showed love in action. I have seen many instances of love in action over the months of preparation for the upcoming menstrual pad workshops. Love is…
- people donating 532 yards of cotton, 482 yards of flannel, and enough sewing accessories to make 400 kits for workshop participants
- a church donating $235 in order to buy 1,600 large eye sewing needles
- 10 women in Texas volunteering on a rainy afternoon to assemble needles, pins, and cloth
- 6 women braving the snow and cold of the Midwest to plan the workshops and assemble supplies
- volunteers in Kentucky, Missouri, Oregon, and Texas making wrist pin cushions
- a woman in her 90s volunteering to gather pins in tubes
- a Rotarian in Liberia working on logistics and recruitment for the workshops
- a volunteer confirming that donated fabric was 100% cotton
This is just a sampling of what love is. I am amazed at the love people have for complete strangers in order to help ensure the success of the menstrual pad workshops which will start in 2 weeks in Monrovia.
The ramifications of the workshops are far-reaching. You see, many Liberian girls cannot afford to buy personal hygiene products, so each month they stay home during their menstrual cycle. This causes them to fall behind in school, and those who are unable to catch up, drop out. This can lead to early pregnancy and, as you know, a girl giving birth at too young an age may develop a fistula as her body is not yet ready for the childbirth process. By being able to have 2 reusable menstrual pads (and most of the supplies to make more), the girls who attend our workshops have hope and are more likely to stay in school.
Additionally, a few local entrepreneurs will attend the workshops as well. Although we are donating supplies for the workshops, all items can be purchased locally in Liberia. Armed with the skills to make a much-needed product, these business women (and perhaps business men) will have a new source of income.
So regardless of how big or small the donation, even a tape measure or a spool of thread, this is what love is!