EVIE GRACE FOUNDATION
Not for profit organisation, Evie Grace Foundation, has announced its partnership with social enterprise, Ecopads Australia. The team is on a mission to end period poverty in East Africa.
Period poverty is a global issue. It affects up to 500 million women and girls a month, leaving them without basic access to sanitary pads. Evie Grace and Ecopads will assist some of the 65% of women and girls in Kenya facing this plight, by providing them with affordable, reusable cloth pads. The need is urgent. Tragically girls as young as 13 are forced to offer sex in exchange for clean pads, increasing HIV risks, and the threat of rape. Community taboos about menstruation, and extreme poverty additionally worsen risks of infection, where dirty scraps of toilet paper, and even cardboard, are the only alternative to pads.
Evie Grace Foundation and Ecopads Australia were both founded by young Australian women, and their shared commitment to sustainability, and human rights will create a unique endeavor.
Maddi Kent founded Evie Grace Foundation in 2018, and she has provided menstrual hygiene packs and education to thousands of girls in East Africa. Committed to eliminating child exploitation through community empowerment and education programs, Evie Grace Foundation also advocates for street children and rescues them from the devastation of starvation, rape, and kidnapping. They have successfully fundraised $83,000 to purchase land for a rescue and rehabilitation home for street boys and are starting to fundraise for a Therapeutic Home for Girls in Malawi.
Freeda Thong, founder of Ecopads Australia, began sewing cloth pads in late 2015. This led to research on cloth pad usage and she discovered pressing issues of menstruation taboos and poverty around the world. Fast forward five years and Freeda has distributed more than 20,000 reusable pads to people, not only in Australia but all over the world through Ecopads ‘one-for-one’ initiative.
“20 billion pads and tampons end up in landfill every year and that’s just in Australia. Knowing these take 500-800 years to break down, we need to do better and make the switch to reusables”.
Maddi is optimistic about the new partnership with Freeda and Ecopads.
“Without Ecopads’ assistance, more women and girls will continue suffering and even dying in their communities. But now, together, we can save lives. As a team, we’ll provide education and resources to fight period poverty. As women, we know that periods should merely be annoying. They shouldn’t constitute a death threat.”
Maddi Kent and Freeda Thong