100 Women members past and present have good cause to celebrate as we are happy to inform you that the third inaugural grant has been formally completed. Along with building healthier communities for women in Northern India and the Zonta House Positive Pathways Program, we are delighted to inform our members about the positive impact the “Restore Rose” project has had for women living in rural villages in Cambodia.
Over the past two years and with the assistance of the 100 Women grant, 9000 women were offered the opportunity to attend a Restore Rose menstrual cup class by their village chief. These classes were designed to offer training on the hygienic use of the menstrual cups, nutrition, and food preparation. After attending the class, each woman was provided with a menstrual cup. Prior to this the woman would use costly and environmentally unfriendly pads or materials/rags which were often unhygienic, caused difficulty in managing menstruation and could impact on their occupations or schooling.
The menstrual cup is made of hospital grade silicone and has offered these women an economic, environmentally friendly and safe option to manage their menstrual cycle. This has gone on to assist them with increasing work productivity and school retention rates for girls. Importantly a Restore Rose cup can provide for the menstruation needs of one person for ten years, which translates into no rubbish, no money required for alternative products, no toxic shock and releasing more money for food, clothing, and medical needs. And even a positive for the garden, if the cup is washed out in a bucket of water, it can then be used as a brilliant fertilizer!!
The 100 Women grant funds also contributed towards the Restore Rose Project reporting and monitoring. Due to the transient nature of the village population because of work availability and family commitments, surveying the same women from the original classes proved difficult. Of the 165 women surveyed, only 45 were in the group who originally received the cup. 38% of the women who received the cup use it exclusively and were positive about how it was easy to use and made such things as work easier. 93% of the women that were experiencing a menstrual cycle when they received the cup reported they used it effectively and that it made their life easier. Other positive comments included it was easier to use than pads, it was clean, no odour, saved money and they could afford other things like food and clothes for their children.
The majority of women who reported they did not use the cup was due to not menstruating because of menopause or a contraceptive device, however some of these women passed them to their daughters who now use the cup.
The evaluation process highlighted some important points and noted that in future, training could include:
- Assessing the women to ensure only those that have a menstrual cycle and who are married receive the cup.
- Training should include instruction for pelvic floor exercises to ensure that the cups stay in, especially for those who have had children.
- Instead of using Australian volunteers for training, using local Khmer women that use a cup, understand the process in training and evaluation and have a relationship with the village communities. This should enable a faster follow up time and larger follow up numbers.
- More education for single women whom have no children to ensure that they are confident in using the cup rather than not using it due to fear of losing their virginity.
The Restore Rose project continues with the help of restore rose cup sales in Australia, with every $10 cup bought in Australia providing for two free cups for Khmer women, enabling these women to continue to receive a safe, environmentally friendly, no cost menstruation device, which otherwise would have not been possible.
Since these three inaugural grants, a further six have been made and over the coming months we will bring you updates and measured outcomes for each of these projects. We have commenced our 4th year with a strong focus on growing our membership so more and more women can become catalysts for positive change. For as little as $25 per month you can become a member knowing 100% of your donation goes to causes like the Restore Rose project.
Join us and help empower women’s philanthropy to make a positive change in the lives of women and girls.