Leanne Purvis hopes take 200 feminine hygiene packs to women and girls in Cambodia in November.
Leanne Purvis hopes take 200 feminine hygiene packs to women and girls in Cambodia in November. Jodie Callcott

Feminine hygiene packs eases burden in Cambodia

IT'S hard for women and girls in Australia to imagine having to use sticks, pebbles or dirty rags to stem menstrual flow each month.

But for females in Cambodia, this is their reality, and one Hervey Bay woman is on a mission to ease the burden of having limited access to feminine hygiene products.

Registered nurse Leanne Purvis will take 200 handmade sanitary pads and liners to Cambodia in November after realising the need while there last year.

She said a member of her church suggested she take over feminine hygiene packs made by Days For Girls while attending a conference.

While there, she said she spoke in front of 250 women about the packs and every woman put there their hand up for one.


"Cambodia was the most bombed country in the world during WWII and Vietnam and they're still recovering from that when it comes to sewerage networks, drainage and all the rest of it.

"If the ladies can get a product that's reliable and doesn't fall apart, or they've got money to buy products, then there's no garbage disposal.

"They're burning it all at night, so everybody would see where they're at (during their cycle)."


A sample of a feminine hygiene kit. Leanne Purvis hopes to take 500 kits to Cambodia next month.
A sample of a feminine hygiene kit. Contributed

Mrs Purvis said the packs included a zip-lock bag, so the ladies could wash the liners of the pads, which if looked after, will last three years.

"They come with a double-sealed Hercules bag, a cake of soap and a washer... so they can put it in there and fill it up with water and let it soak and rinse it out.

"It doesn't have to be clean water to clean these, at least for the first few washes.

"In each pack there's two pads and six liners and there's quite a strict quality control as well."

She said some women in Cambodia burned their genitals to try to cauterize the area.

"I don't know what they think that will do, but they'll burn down below to I guess try to cauterize, or they'll use sticks or pebbles, or old rags and they won't be terribly clean because obviously they don't have fresh running water."

Days For Girls have a sewing day from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, October 27 at Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre, 22 Charles St, Pialba.

For information, or to participate, phone Heather Sugget on 0400553295 or email herveybayqld@daysforgirls.org