Project: Distributing Dignity was created with the ultimate goal of creating a sense of sisterhood between girls on and off the reservation. That’s why we are a group of girls helping girls (with the exception of one boy and some adult guidance). As of 2021, all of our Board Members are now in College. Through volunteer work for the Pine Ridge Reservation, we have come to understand the severity of the needs of a people forgotten by our government and by humanity. On the Reservation, the median income is approx. $2600 to $3500 per year. Many families simply cannot afford wood or propane to heat their homes. With an unemployment rate of 80% and an average of 17 people living in each family home, life on the reservation is harsh and hopeless. Children go hungry.
Families already have to make the difficult decision of whether to buy food or to provide heat. Often, there is no money for feminine hygiene products. Adolescent girls will have to miss school when they are on their period, and missing a week per month takes a toll on their education. Girls often fall so far behind that they have no choice but to drop out. Graduation rates on the reservation are already low, and these girls are missing school because of something they have no control over. They feel they are being punished for being women.
A period should never be a barrier to a girl’s education.