Sylvia’s Sisters mission is to provide quality period products to menstruators, both locally and abroad, so they can thrive at home, school, and work without the added stress of healthfully managing their menstrual cycle every month.
For Menstruators Abroad
Around the world, cultural taboos prohibit informative discussions about reproductive health and menstrual cycles. In developing countries, this stigma increases the risk of menstruators being subjected to preventable violence and health issues; the problem is compounded by limited access to hygienic products and safe, sanitary restrooms. Girls who cannot safely manage their periods may miss class, fall behind in their studies, and drop out of school. Without an education, they are more likely to marry and have children at a young age.
Sylvia’s Sisters has actively worked toward breaking this cycle in Uganda. In 2013, we began donating kits containing washable and reusable pads and underwear to Ugandan communities. More recently, we have purchased period supplies from AFRIpads, a 95% women-employed Ugandan company.
Sylvia’s Sisters has also addressed the lack of potable water in Kirinda, Uganda. After the Taylor family made a trip to Kirinda to deliver AFRIpads, they realized many schools did not have clean water for drinking, cooking, and bathing. In 2017, Sylvia’s Sisters provided four schools in Kirinda, Uganda, with rainwater catchment tanks to provide them with clean, accessible water.
For Menstruators at Home
Even here in the US, a lack of period products can keep women and girls from going to work and school worry-free. There is currently no federal aid program which can be used to purchase period products. A 2021 study by U by Kotex shows that two in five people have struggled to buy these necessary items.
To help menstruators achieve all they can without worrying about managing their periods, Sylvia’s Sisters partners with a variety of local groups including non-profits, food banks, and outreach centers to distribute disposable period products to communities in need. Many of these products are provided by local businesses, community service groups, and schools via product drives and donations.
Sylvia’s Sisters also works with health professionals and girls’ clubs to spread information about how to safely manage periods once menstruation begins. We currently distribute period supplies to Communities in Schools of Richmond, Chesterfield, and Petersburg, Diversity Richmond, Latinos in Virginia Empowerment Center, Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, Sacred Heart Center, and World U.P., among other local groups.