The Pachamama Project
1658. Ella Lambert
Ella Lambert, from Essex, is a student and founder of ‘The Pachamama Project’ – which seeks to eliminate period poverty among refugee communities in Greece and Lebanon by distributing handmade reusable sanitary pads made by 1,000 volunteer sewers.
Having regularly experienced debilitating period pains, Ella was inspired to make reusable pads for the most marginalised in society, particularly refugee women who are especially disadvantaged by period poverty while living in vulnerable situations. She set up ‘The Pachamama Project’ in August 2020 to capitalise on the energies of members of the public who had helped sew masks in response to the pandemic and would be willing to sew pads, which Ella has specially designed to be sustainable. Ella and her global team of volunteers have now made over 20,000 sanitary pads and helped lift more than 2,600 refugees out of period poverty.
Ella’s award coincides with Refugee Week, which raises awareness and understanding of the experiences of refugees worldwide.
In a personal letter to Ella, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Congratulations on the success of ‘The Pachamama Project’ and all that you have done to lift women overseas out of period poverty.
“With your army of one thousand volunteer sewers, you have provided over twenty thousand period products. More than that, you have given thousands of women dignity and access to healthy, hygienic care items.”
“Thank you so much for awarding me the Points of Light award on Refugee Week. It’s so important to shine a light on the issue of period poverty. Millions of people around the world have to deal with period poverty which contributes to gender inequality, health issues and a huge amount of shame. Refugees, migrants and displaced people are particularly disadvantaged by period poverty as people on the move. I’m grateful for the opportunity to raise awareness of these issues at a government level and to be recognised for the work that 1,000 Pachamama volunteers are doing.”