At the patient shelter in Blantyre, Malawi, a team cuts out the fabric that will make reusable pads. (Operation Smile – Jasmin Shah)

Removed from the classroom. Rejected from her community. Refused the opportunity to start her own business.

When we learned women routinely endure this treatment because of the stigma around menstruation, we resolved to support them as they overcome these hurdles.

That’s how we launched our Dignity Project.

With the support of our partners – The Nourish Collective, Days for Girls, and Sew Dignified – Operation Smile will dispatch undergraduate student volunteers to four medical mission sites in 2020, where they’ll facilitate women’s health care workshops.

During each workshop, women and girls will receive a kit complete with a reusable pad and everything they need to take care of it.

Meet the team behind the dignity project. From left to right are students Maura Canavan, Jill Tindall, Julia Hadley, and Madisyn Eppleman. Then we have Melissa Flick and Angela Adams of the Nourish Collective. At right, we have Jennifer McKendree of Operation Smile Student Programs.

What: The Dignity Project

Where and when: Dignity Project missions have been postponed due to COVID-19; however, we’re looking ahead and will plan dates as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Cost: The team is fundraising to pay for women’s health kits, which cost $10 apiece. Each student will pay $1,500 to cover traveling costs.

Make a donation: Please consider supporting this project at

Give toward a student’s experience: If you’d like to contribute to a student’s experience, please visit, check the box that says  “

Make a Donation

With your help, women at medical missions around the world will receive reusable sanitary pads and all the materials they need to care for them.

It costs $10 for one kit, according to our friends at the Nourish Collective.

Please consider making a donation here:

Support a Student

Our students must pay $1,500 to cover the costs associated with their travel, including airfare and lodging. If you’d like to contribute to a student’s experience, please visit, check the box that says  “This gift is in honor of someone,” and write his or her name in the “honoree” box.