This may be out of your comfort zone. But guess what? It is a reality for every woman and girl ... every month. In every country across the planet.
There is a group of 36 women who make up an ALL FEMALE ANTI POACHING UNIT , called Akashinga (the brave ones) - who take on illegal trophy hunters and poachers in Zimbabwe.
The women have been trained and employed to manage an entire nature reserve by Damien Mander , Founder of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation [IAPF] and a former Australian special forces sniper. I had the pleasure of having dinner and meeting up with Damien after his TedX talk. His passion for conservation surpasses anyone I have ever met.
When I heard of this Female Anti Sniper Unit that Damien had created - I was incredibly inspired by the force of womanhood and strength beaming from these women.
According to IAPF, inspiration for the project came from the growing body of evidence that suggests that empowering women is the single biggest force for positive change in the world today.
They added: "Specifically, research shows that a woman with a salary in rural Africa invests up to three times more than a male into their family and local community. Female empowerment through skills development and sustainable employment in these rural communities delivers many direct benefits including increased life expectancy through better access to healthcare, more children able to participate in education, support for local businesses and the wider economy. Through employment, goods and services, over 70 percent of the operational costs of the Akashinga model go directly back into the local community, turning a security need into a community project."
THIS IS AMAZING.
But I also thought ...how do they deal with their periods in the bush? I say this out of experience... I am a wildlife film producer and travel guide.
I know first hand what dealing with your “time of the month” in less then hospitable environments means. No privacy, no back up pads, and sometimes it comes as a surprise at the least convenient moment. Also, tampons and pads are expensive, especially in Zimbabwe. A packet of 10 average quality pads cost about Zim $1 200 000 . That's 5-12 % of monthly wages!
What magical product I came across that has been a life-changer for me, is the THINX underwear. An alternative to wasteful paper products, Thinx are not cheap. But they are 100% washable and reusable. A pair of the heavy days underwear costs $39 plus shipping. TOTALLY WORTH IT. Check out the link, you will love it for yourself.
An eco friendly option to wasteful tampons and pads, it also offers peace of mind as you head out into places that may not let you “change” anything. Washable - reusable and the best, protection. I know that these women will benefit greatly from a pair of these.
These women are kick ass humans that deserve all the reinforcements they can get, and for me Thinx has been an incredible warrior.
I would say minimum they need 2 pairs per soldier .... and need I say that these women are saving elephants while feeding their babies and sending kids to school?
Fighting corruption and completely embodying the female empowerment we all seek?
The truth is : These Wildlife Warriors have periods just like us
In the Zimbabwe bush
While fighting poachers
Whose with me? Let's get these ladies a fighting chance and support women doing AWESOME things for our planet.
I am looking to buy 2 pairs per woman, and Damien is in the USA thru February, I can get the shipment to him and he can then hand deliver the THINX underwear to the unit.