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You Can Help Provide Thousands Of Homeless Australian Women With Tampons

Nearly 46,000 women sleep rough on any given night in Australia.

08/06/2016 2:42 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:53 PM AEST
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Domestic and family violence is the number one reason why people present to specialist homeless services.

Sharing tampons, a hot water bottle and period woes is a monthly occurrence for a big chunk of the world's female population.

Though as we text our bestie with multiple sick face emojis in the comfort a warm home, 45,813 other women sleep rough, without a bed, and without access to sanitary products on any given night in Australia.

Just imagine for a quick moment what it would be like if, for every box of tampons we begrudgingly bought, another would be donated to one of these women in need?

This is exactly what Saskia Hampele, ex-Neighbours actress is attempting to make a reality with her kickstarter campaign, "Gift Box".

By the end of June, Hampele hopes to raise $45,000 to get the first shipment of her organic tampon line off the ground, with each donor receiving a box (or multiple boxes) of tampons they'd probably already be buying anyway.

It's a 'female' issue. Men are the ones driving politics. They're also driving a lot of other services, too. Men's health issues seem to be much more looked after than women's.

With a background in social work, Hampele spent a number of years volunteering at homeless crisis centres in Victoria where she learnt first-hand the alarming number of women and families escaping dire situations.

"At the time, I remember handing out sanitary products to a couple of women but it never really clicked that it was something that every single person coming through the door needed," Hampele told The Huffington Post Australia.

It was only recently that Hampele connected the dots after her sister-in-law was a donation point for Share The Dignity, an initiative that provides homeless women with sanitary products.

"I don't understand why there is a need for a donation drive and not just a sustainable program that makes these products available to everyone," Hampele.

Hampele said this lack of basic access is just another example of how women are catching up on getting our issues on the agenda.

"It's a 'female' issue. Men are the ones driving politics. They're also driving a lot of other services, too. Men's health issues seem to be much more looked after than women's," Hampele said.

According to Homelessness Australia, each year one in 42 women aged 18 to 24 will access a homeless service.

Having access to feminine hygiene seems like such an easy piece of that puzzle to solve and a way to take away that stress -- amongst all of the other stresses -- that come with being homeless.

In 2012, 85,000 Australian women accessed a homeless service. And the number one reason women of all ages present to these services? Domestic violence.

Indeed as we worry about the stain we'll have to soak out of our undies, or the chocolate void in our pantry, these women are reaching for coarse paper in public toilets, newspaper, napkins and those desperate enough, leaves, as a means for sanitary care.

"These women are already placed in a horrific situation. Particularly those escaping domestic violence, who are often put in a very unsafe situation when they are housed."

"Having access to feminine hygiene seems like such an easy piece of that puzzle to solve and a way to take away that stress -- amongst all of the other stresses -- that come with being homeless," Hampele said.

For more information visit the Gift Box One For One Facebook page.

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