Tayaba Organisation

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From Struggle to Strength: Saamina's Pad-volution with H2O Sanitation

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved

Saamina, a resilient single mother from Umerkot, Sindh, Pakistan, shares the harsh realities of managing her menstrual hygiene in a society plagued by taboos and stigmas.

At the age of 14, Saamina experienced her first menstruation, unprepared and unaware of what lay ahead.

The societal norms dictated that she be treated as “impure,” leading to isolation and discrimination even within the confines of her own home. Saamina recounts with a heavy heart,

“My mother said that it was a time of ‘impurity’ every month that girls experienced. I was not allowed to sleep with my siblings or eat with my family while I was menstruating. I felt ashamed.

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved

At first, Saamina struggled to comprehend why something as natural as menstruation could bring such stigma and hardship. However, as she got older, she learned more about why this happened and why people around her thought it was wrong. And just when Saamina had finally made peace with this reality, the devastating floods of 2022 swept her home, further exacerbating Saamina’s hardships.

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved

Cut off from basic resources, she found herself mentally and physically devastated. She recalls,
“During the floods, my family and I had to leave our home with nothing. After a few days on the road, my period started. I felt lost and powerless, unsure of how to manage amidst all the difficulties we faced.”
The lack of access to safe menstrual products left her with no choice but to resort to unsanitary alternatives like damp rags and old clothes. The prolonged use of these unsafe resources took a toll on her health, leading to the development of vaginosis. Saamina’s pain and discomfort intensified, affecting both her physical and emotional well-being.

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved

However, amid all the challenges, a glimmer of hope appeared in the form of Team H2O (Help-2-Others), a group representing Tayaba Organisation. They introduced a solution called the H2O Menstrual Hygiene Management Kit, which aimed to assist women like Saamina by providing them with safe menstrual products and opportunities to earn income. Initially, Saamina hesitated due to the prevailing taboo around open discussions on periods. She had her doubts about this new approach.

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved

Yet, thanks to the unwavering dedication of Team H2O, a remarkable change began to take place. They worked tirelessly to educate Saamina and the community about menstrual health, breaking down misconceptions and creating a supportive atmosphere. In just a few days, Saamina’s outlook began to shift, and she started seeing the potential that lay ahead. Thinking back on this transformative journey, Saamina shares with deep emotion,
“Team H2O opened my eyes to the fact that menstruation is a natural process, and women should be treated with respect and have access to safe products.”

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved

Saamina excitedly shares,
“H2O Pads are amazing! They are reusable cloth pads that are durable and comfortable to use during my periods. They have made managing menstruation so much easier for me!”.
Seeing Saamina’s potential and understanding the importance of providing her with a way to earn a sustainable income, Team H2O invited her to join in making H2O Sanitary Pads.

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved

As Saamina witnessed the positive impact these pads had on her life and the lives of other women, she felt a strong urge to contribute and bring about change. Despite her initial reservations, she embraced the entrepreneurial journey, knowing that it would not only improve her financial situation but also create a positive social impact. With tears in her eyes, Saamina shares,
“Being involved in the production of H2O Sanitary Pads has given me a sense of purpose and stability in my life.”

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved

When Saamina wholeheartedly embraced the production process, her life started to change in amazing ways. Not only did she notice a big improvement in her menstrual health and comfort, but she also felt a newfound sense of purpose and strength. By being involved, Saamina now earns money to contribute to support her family’s basic needs and dreams of a better future. She is determined to educate her children about menstruation and make sure they understand that it’s a normal and natural part of life. Saamina passionately declares,
“I feel empowered. I am not ashamed of menstruation anymore. I want my children to grow up knowing that it is natural and there is nothing to be ashamed of.”

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved

Saamina’s journey is a testament to the incredible impact that Team H2O and access to sustainable menstrual hygiene solutions can have on the lives of women in Pakistan. Her story is truly remarkable, stirring deep emotions of empathy, inspiration, and hope. Despite facing numerous challenges, Saamina’s unwavering spirit and determination have made her a symbol of strength for countless women who struggle with managing their menstrual hygiene.

Let us come together and support Team H2O in their mission to empower women, one pad at a time. Together, we can create a future where every woman can embrace her menstrual cycle with dignity, breaking free from the chains of silence and stigma.


How do you envision a world where menstrual hygiene is accessible and normalized for all women? Share your ideas with us at [email protected], and let’s continue the conversation for positive change.


Written By:
Zoha Waqas, Communications and Blockchain Research Associate

Graphics By:
Basit Shah, Graphics and Digital Media Specialist

Published on 31st May, 2023

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