Taylor’s Students Help End Period Poverty With Handmade Pads For Rohingya Refugees

The battle against the invisible enemy isn’t over yet. And for that reason, the MCO has been extended for another two more weeks! While humble residents continue to tighten their belt and live frugally on sufficient savings, not everybody is as fortunate. People like the refugees are feeling the brunt as they live from hand to mouth, and affording ‘luxurious’ necessities such as pads and tampons are out of the question too.

In an initiative led by LaunchPad, 40 Taylor’s students and 3 refugee seamstresses came together to help end period poverty. They handsewn 500 reusable sanitary pads for 250 vulnerable female refugees. Made using recyclable materials such as T-shirts, the reusable pads have a shelf life of two years.

The project was led by The Launch Pad alongside UNHCR, Rohingya Society of Malaysia and Somali Refugee Community of Malaysia. | Image credit: Taylor’s University

This project wouldn’t have been successful without the help of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Rohingya Society of Malaysia and Somali Refugee Community. As of date, all pads have been delivered via express post to refugees living in the Klang Valley. Each recipient will receive two sanitary pads and an instruction card that teaches the correct steps of using them hygienically.

“Female hygiene amongst vulnerable groups still continues to be a persisting issue that needs to be addressed. The need for sanitary pads is even greater during MCO because we know that refugees don’t have enough money to stock up on pads and this is further exacerbated by the fact that they now cannot leave their homes and have lost their income,” says Eudora Yap Xin Yun, student and member of the LaunchPad Project.

No gender stereotyping here! Boys and girls all sit down together to hand sew 500 reusable pads. | Image credit: Taylor’s University

The idea behind the LaunchPad Project first emerged in 2019 during a school field trip, whereby students discovered access to sanitary pads was a major challenge. What started off as a service-learning programme to provide life and leadership skills has evolved into something more significant. It now sheds light on issues of female hygiene, discusses refugee empowerment in Malaysia and sustainability.

For those who’d like to extend a helping hand or simply want to know more, hop onto their website at www.taylorshostel.taylors.edu.my.


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