Hello, My name is Mikaela kate. I was raised in a male dominated American household. As a young woman, I was given a tiny book about menstruation and was shown where the supplies were hidden in the bathroom. The only thing my mother taught me about my monthly blood was to roll our pads and tampons in layers of toilet paper, hide the used ones in a bag and sneak them out to the garbage, making sure my father or brothers would not see our "disgrace". My mother used no words, just generations of gestures.
When my daughter was a 1 year old, I handed her a needle and thread and we began our delightful journey of creativity together. I was determined to model for her a new paradigm of giving, of living slow and of real communication. We lived with little money, practicing attatchment parenting, music and handstitching. We stitched dolls and toys and also, cloth menstrual pads. I wanted her to grow up slow, to use her hands, to know her body and to be a powerful woman. ( and She is!!!!) I used cloth and gave away cloth pads to any one i could influence (which were very few back then). As a family, we lived for knowing the culture and music of Zimbabwe. The kids were raised emmersed in a community of music makers. I did my best to provide a sense of "village" in a world of "independent" Americans and Zimbabwean musicians..... Looking back, it was quite the adventure. We made plenty of learning mistakes in appropriation but mostly, we found love in our work and life long friends from Zimbabwe. It all makes a good story and because we took risks steering away from American greed and towards offering our family togetherness as a gift, our kids are aware world citizens. Im grateful for this now.
My Life is devoted to end the shame around menstruation. My own shame story isnt the focus here, or the fact that my sisters and I always had sanitary products, tho my story gives perspective. I was given a head start in so many ways, just by growing up in a world where i always had food, shelter, clothing (and pads). I never thought about it as a child. Being comfortable was a given. I want to focus here on Action. Its time for the West to GIVE. To give towards the millions of women, world wide who have so much less. Its time for balance.
I have led many stitching circles for both girls and women. We sing, stitch our pads (and dolls), nurture eachother and talk about the things that matter. I have a desire to share simple ways women living in poverty can use easily accessible used clothing to make pads for themselves. i have visions of women all over the world sitting in circles, weaving our fabric of life and experience together, for all of our daughters.
i have joined with Theresa Farai Nyava of Sanitary Aid Zimbabwe Trust to create a GofundMe Campaign. Theresa and her comrades are so inspirational! They are making huge differences in Harare, Zimbabwe for girls and women both in distribution of products and education but also in thier tireless lobbying to change the laws and to end period poverty in Zimbabwe. Gofundme does not serve Zimbabwe directly, so i have offered my bank and my social media as their platform in America. My goal is to listen and act on what SAZT asks of me. i offer my practiced silent presence. I take care to listen more than speak because i feel the western world has gone overboard in the leadership arena. i want to hear the voice of women world wide and act from this place.
To donate to Sanitary Aid Zimbabwe Trust: https://www.gofundme.com/end-period-poverty-in-zimbabwe
Life is a gift. Thats why i give mine to people i know i can quietly lift up and encourage. i am devoted and determined to make a difference where my gifts can be used.
Thank you for coming close, lets have tea