The Dignity Project in Uganda
The teenage girls who attended missionary Jade Metz’s church in Uganda were getting ready to go back to boarding school after a break. Jade wanted to put together some care packages for them and asked her pastor’s wife what kinds of school supplies would be helpful.
“I thought they would want notebooks, bedding, or backpacks,” related Jade later. “I was wrong. They wanted sanitary pads!”
Jade began to realize the struggles that many Ugandan girls and women face during monthly menstruation. For many, disposable sanitary products are simply not affordable or available. What they make do with is also not good: old pieces of clothing, crushed leaves, or nothing at all—these alternatives are ineffective at best and, at worst, could cause disease.
“This causes many young girls not to attend school, and women in nearby villages are forced to go into the bush during their menstruation,” shared Jade. “Can you imagine? These women have been stripped of their dignity during their monthly menstruation. They shoulder fear, worry, shame, and some are even outcast. We are ambassadors of Jesus Christ, the Supreme Dignity Restorer. So let’s help restore their dignity!”
In August 2015, Jade shared her idea of distributing reusable sanitary pads with the followers on her blog, and The Dignity Project was born. Church groups and ministry partners all across the U.S. held sewing parties, and the pads were taken to Uganda for distribution.
The Dignity Project has taken reusable pads and underwear to schools, orphanages, prisons, psychiatric institutions, and hospitals. The project introduces healthy hygiene and the message of Jesus Christ to women and girls of all ages.
Jade’s team has also been involved in training Ugandan women to make the pads. This teaches a life skill, provides a source of income, and empowers the women.
On one occasion, Jade and her team traveled to the town of Kasese to work with the Chalapi Uganda organization to teach prison inmates and women who have been rehabilitated from prison to make the reusable sanitary pads. A group visited the prison once the ladies from Chalapi learned to make the pads. Many inmates cried with thankfulness when they were given new undergarments, pads, and a hand-stitched cross. Jade shared her testimony with the ladies, explaining that God takes away our shame, and 11 women responded to her invitation to become Christ followers!
PRAY: Pray that all women and girls touched by The Dignity Project will realize that their true identity and source of worth is in Jesus Christ.
ACT: Organize a group to sew the sanitary pads for women in Uganda. Visit Jade's blog for more information.