Girls Learn International takes on the Pad Project


Ekene Osuchukwu, Staff Writer

By Ekene Osuchukwu

The Girls Learn International Club began the school year on a mission to collect female sanitary items for the Pad Project.

The Princess Anne chapter of Girls Learn International (GLI) was founded last year by current President, senior Vivian Wermers. Wermers started the club because she was interested in the #metoo movement that became popular last year and is still active today. Also because the Equal Rights Amendment has not been ratified.

“I think the Me Too Movement was one of  the biggest factors for me, and just seeing how women are treated unequally in America,” said Wermers. “So many people think that [treatment] is so much better than it is but it’s not.”

She wanted to learn more about the challenges facing women and soon found articles from GLl. Although the issues that first interested Wermers were domestic, it didn’t take long for her to notice the poor treatment of women on an international level. 

“I started doing research into Girls Learn International and I realized globally there are other countries where girls aren’t even going to school,” recalled Wermers.

The research that has went into GLI has given the club new ideas for ways they can help ease problems for girls around the world. As a result, the club and its members are excited to take on the Pad Project. The Pad Project benefits girls in developing countries who do not supply females with sanitary materials.

 The Pad Project will be going on all year and the club will be collecting pads and tampons to donate to the project.

In a documentary Wermers watched about girls around the world not having access to clean pads, she recounted the details and explained how in some countries there is a stigma around women who have their periods. Some are even expected to stay home because of their periods.

“The Pad Project is important to me because it is a part of life for women. [Menstruation] shouldn’t be something that has to be in secret or taboo. It will give them the opportunity to have a lot more freedom if they have these pads. They’ll be able to go to school, they won’t be so embarrassed, and I think it goes beyond that because it will break the stigma in these communities.” 

The club plans to team up with Earth Club and host a walkout for girls education and climate change. GLI at PA also plans to hold a candy bar fundraiser, as well as host a Benefit Concert where all proceeds go towards funding the International Pad Project. 

Club members are excited about “really empowering girls within our school and the whole world,” said Wermers, “when we start here and build a culture here that empowers women to make change other places.”