Stories that matter
- The buckets that bring dignity
The buckets that bring dignity
31 July 2019
Women and girls in refugee camps often lack access to basic hygiene – including sanitary pads, clean underwear and decent washing facilities. In May, thousands of people across Australia chipped in to buy “Buckets of Dignity” for Rohingya women and girl, to help them maintain their dignity at a when many other things feel lost.
I want you to think, just for a moment, about periods.
And I’d like you to consider what it would be like to get your period, whilst living in a crowded refugee camp: sleeping in a tent, sharing a toilet with hundreds of people, and without any way to access sanitary pads.
This is the situation facing thousands of Rohingya women and girls who are living as refugees in Bangladesh.
When brutal violence erupted in Myanmar in August 2017, more than 745,000 Rohingya people were forced from their homes and across the border.
In an emergency situation like this, where resources are stretched to meet the sheer scale of the need, female hygiene is often overlooked. Women and girls lack access to even basic hygiene, such as sanitary pads.
Thankfully, with your help, our partner in Bangladesh are distributing dignity kits containing simple but essential items including underwear, reusable sanitary cloths and soap. The bucket acts as a basin, so women don’t have to use the shared washrooms and can clean their sanitary cloths, hygienically and in private.
Without these kits, women and girls face enormous challenges in managing their periods. Nur, a Rohingya refugee, told us:
I and my daughter use the sanitary items. We need hygiene products every month. Without these kits, we use old clothes. We wash and use the same cloth over and over again.
On May 28, International Menstrual Hygiene Day, we launched a 28 day campaign to provide ‘Buckets of Dignity’ to 3,000 Rohingya women and girls. Thousands of people chipped in all across the country and reached well over the target.
The generosity of people all across Australia is helping to ensure that for women who’ve suffered unimaginable horrors and continue to face hardships, one of their most basic needs is met. Thank you.