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A woman at a sewing machine making pads.

Sewing Hope

- by Joyce Meyer 5 MIN READ

Think back for a moment to your middle to high school years and the pressure you felt to fit in. The awkward social situations and physical changes. And if you’re a woman, you dealt with everything that went along with “that time of the month.” While many girls have access to the hygiene products they need, there are so many others whose lives are put on hold for a week or more every month, causing them to fall behind in their studies and even drop out of school.

Through our Project GRL initiative—designed to guide, restore and love women and girls around the world—Hand of Hope, Joyce Meyer Ministries World Missions is helping to launch an innovative new ministry effort that is dramatically changing young women’s lives.

We’ve joined forces with two organizations—A21 and Sparrow Society—to put reusable feminine hygiene packs called Power Pads into the hands of girls in Africa who need them.

Eva and Mercy are two of the many girls we’ve helped. They know what it’s like to go without…and what that means for their lives.

“During that time [of the month], many girls don’t go to school because they don’t have pads to take care of themselves,” Eva told us. “So they feel ashamed to go outside and face the other girls.”

Mercy shared how this perceived “little thing” can quickly become a major issue. “Some would just stay [home] the whole week,” she recalled. “You ask them why, and they’ll tell you, ‘It’s because I’m on my menstruals.’ Even if you miss a few days, it can be hard to catch up.”

Simply put, Power Pads are reusable hygiene pads that will enable girls to stay in school during their menstrual cycle. It’s an opportunity for us to literally change a young girl’s world…and Hand of Hope is providing the training, equipment and materials needed to produce them. And through this project, we’re also creating a new income stream for the vulnerable women who take joy in helping others by making them.

Joining Forces and Meeting Needs

For years, Hand of Hope has partnered with A21—a ministry that fights against modern forms of slavery, including human trafficking and forced labor. Its Freedom Centers, like the one in Cape Town, South Africa, provide an array of services for women and girls who are on their journey to healing. Most recently, we’ve also joined with Sparrow Society, another nonprofit organization located in Cape Town, to help girls stay in school and equip them with life skills, like sewing.

“We teach the high school girls entrepreneurial skills,” Sparrow Society’s founder Kate Brim-Senekal said. “They kept telling us, ‘We want to start businesses, but we need hygiene products so that we can stay in school and finish school.’”

This is where you come in. Through your support, Hand of Hope was able to purchase materials for 100,000 pads. They are being sewn and produced by the girls at A21 and Sparrow Society, then distributed throughout South Africa and worldwide to other girls in need.

Just like that, the Power Pads concept was formed—a valuable necessity made by girls, for girls. It’s a way for those who are coming out of abusive and difficult situations to create something special and help other girls stay in school and invest in their future.

The women in South Africa who are making these essential products are not only themselves growing in confidence, but they realize they’re a part of someone else’s healing journey. They illustrate a Biblical principle often taught by Joyce: One of the fastest ways to bring joy and healing to your own life is to reach out and help someone else (see Matthew 6:33).

The Gift of Independence and a Joyful Life

Lola* is the perfect example. She lights up when talking about her love for sewing—and she’s learning to find her own voice in the crowd. You see, before she arrived at the Freedom Center, she lived in a very controlling and abusive home.

“Last year, I wouldn't have been able to work in a normal environment because I get very anxious,” Lola said. “So, when they created this opportunity for us, it was so nice for me. I can work at my own pace on my own time…it's empowering for me as a person.”

The love and encouragement Lola’s received has made it possible for her to blossom both personally and professionally. “I wanted to give up so many times,” Lola said. “But they would always tell me, ‘No, you're doing good!’ and ‘You’ve got this.’ After a while, I started to love it.”

The more Lola learned, the more motivated she felt to continue. “I wanted to learn more things,” Lola said. “So, I started doing scrunchies and headbands. And I made a bag, which I think is so cute.”

We asked Lola how she felt about the work she’s doing now, and we absolutely treasure her response. “Being part of this thing of making the sanitary pads for girls all over Africa…It feels amazing. It feels like I’m making a difference,” she shared. “Even though I won’t be able to see it, there’s a girl [whose] need is being met.”

At Joyce Meyer Ministries, we are blessed to work with organizations like A21 and Sparrow Society to create meaningful change in our world. And we’re grateful for you, our friends and partners, who make it all possible. We’re looking forward to hearing from so many girls—in their own words—what one small, simple package of reusable pads can do!

*Her name has been changed to protect her identity.

Through our Project GRL initiative, Hand of Hope is fighting for women and girls everywhere—meeting their needs and letting them know they are loved and valued by God.

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