Lara Jager

Code Red Initiative

What does your company do?

Code Red Initiative is a NPO dedicated to eradicating period poverty by producing and providing menstruators with long-term sanitary solutions. Our programmes involve training and employment of local and refugee women from townships as seamstresses of reusable sanitary pads made from natural fabrics. We distribute menstrual care kits which include reusable sanitary pads made by our seamstresses to vulnerable communities that last girls and women up to two years. In addition, Code Red Initiative offers interactive and educational workshops around sexual and reproductive health to under-resourced schools and communities to address the lack of information and open dialogue associated with women's wellness. Code Red Initiative therefore equips menstruators in low-income areas with the necessary tools and knowledge to manage their overall health by harnessing their menstrual cycle and nurturing the connection between the mind, body and nature.

What is your biggest success?

My greatest achievement has been connecting with and learning from the incredible women in the communities we serve. Since co-founding Code Red Initiative in 2020, I’ve met selfless teachers and community members who work tirelessly to support young girls and women, driven purely by compassion. These connections, rooted in a shared passion for women’s rights, inspire me and give hope for the future of our girls. Code Red Initiative has provided over 350 girls and women with reusable sanitary pads lasting up to five years, and over 700 with other feminine hygiene products. We've trained several seamstresses of which four we employed and worked alongside for over four years. Witnessing the dedication and passion of these women is the greatest gift and fuels our mission to fight period poverty.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Our biggest hurdle has been securing consistent funding to sustain and expand our operations. Despite our efforts with partnerships, campaigns, and events, it has been challenging to fund our programs solely through these means. Without reliable funding, we face difficulties in maintaining the stability and growth needed to make a long-term impact. However, with the dedication and passion of our small team, coupled with the unwavering support of our community, we always manage to overcome any hurdle that comes our way by implementing creative solutions to address period poverty one girl at a time. With more substantial and consistent funding, we will expand and reach more girls who need our support.