10/12/2011 08:49 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

'Share It Forward' Provides Impoverished Girls With Sanitary Protection: How You Can Help

Think twice the next time you complain about cramps and bloating during that time of the month.

Millions of young girls in underdeveloped countries worldwide face a far greater problem: They simply can't afford sanitary protection. The effects are far-reaching, yet rarely discussed.

Girls from poor families in places such as Kenya and Bangladesh resort to using dirty rags while menstruating, putting them at risk for infection and disease, according to UNICEF.

But it's not just a health issue. Without sanitary protection, girls miss school simply because they're embarrassed of the stains on their clothes.

HURU International, an organization that produces and donates kits with washable sanitary pads, underwear and soap, shared the story of Rose from Ngong, Kenya with the Huffington Post.

“I was using cotton wool to protect myself during periods but since they were not protecting me fully I used to skip school two days each month because I feared soiling my school uniform. But since I got the Huru Kit, life has never been the same again because now I can attend school regularly and my marks in class have gone up. I now read comfortably, do household duties and wash clothes. The booklet we also received has taught me to abstain from sex and also not to share sharp things because it might transmit HIV to me.”

To help girls who can't afford feminine products combat education inequity, disease and poverty, HURU has partnered with o.b. to provide girls with menstruation kits.

o.b. and Huru -- which means freedom in Swahili -- have launched the Share it Forward campaign to spread awareness and to provide a way to help. o.b. will donate $1 to Huru every time someone shares their message on Facebook. $25 is enough to provide one girl with her own kit.

Click to spread the word and help provide sanitary protection for girls who lack access.

Learn more about the issue: