Our Story: Christine’s Journey

                                Women To Be

                                Our Team

                                Women To Be was founded on three important principles:

                                1.  All girls deserve dignity and an opportunity to succeed in life        
                                2.  Girls are the greatest untapped resource known to humankind and have the potential to elevate the quality of life for everyone on the planet        
                                3.  Menstrual health is not a women's problem.  It is a human rights issue.

                                Christine Glidden founded Women To Be Inc. (WTB), to become a fundamental component of a comprehensive health effort to provide girls and women in the world the opportunity to stay in school, get an education, participate in day-to-day activities, make informed decisions about bearing children, and become economic drivers in their communities. So far, Christine has distributed 3700 kits and health classes to Nepal (2x), Zambia, and Mexico. With the help of a small army of volunteers, she expects to distribute 5000+ kits through 2020. Her partnerships with international organizations and community leaders, Christine knows that the success of the project lies in relationship. Christine's long time wish to bring the project to her neighbors down the street, in New Mexico, is underway.

                                The Inspiration - In 2014, Christine was told by a friend who had survived 17 years in a Nepali refugee camp that she would resort to castaway rags and tree leaves to absorb her menstrual flow. Her friend would sit in the corner on a rag each month and wait until her period ended. Such methods of can also cause chronic, painful infection. In the camp, girls would place bags over their heads when entering public areas in order to hide their identities as they bled down their legs. Christine was immediately galvanized to take action. It was abhorrent to her to think of her friend living in this humiliation and pain.

                                In Nepal -  WTB has distributed kits and a sex education to 1600 girls and women in 2015 and 2016. Christine actually went to the refugee camp her friend lived in to distribute kits to the girls and women her friend had to leave behind.  A needs assessment shows that girls drop out of school at the start of puberty and the local population, particularly women, is suffering from unemployment. In 2017, 281 women and girls  who received kits were surveyed. 279 reported that the kits allowed them to perform their duties and stay in school, that they wanted a replacement kit in 2019 when their current kit is no longer e ff ective, and that they would like more kits to give to friends and family who did not initially receive kits.

                                WTB recently received a Rotary International Grant to distribute kits and a health class to 5000 girls and women in remote regions of Nepal. This grant will establish a sewing center in Nepal to train and employ women to sew kits. A local hospital and women's organizations have committed to buying the kits after the grant project is completed, thereby insuring sustainability.

                                In Mexico  - WTB distributed 500 kits in remote areas of Chihuahua in May 2019 to bring the program to Tarahumara indigenous women. We are poised to return in October 2019 to research resources and strengthen relationships with the City of Chihuahua Mayor's Office. Following our mission and with their partnership, we are intent to establish a sewing enterprise. Through grants and donations, we expect our enterprise to be profitable and sustainable.

                                In Zambia - WTB has distributed kits to 1000 girls and women in 2018 and 2019.  A team of researchers from the University of New Mexico visited Zambia during the 2019 trip to collect, and later analyze, data regarding the effectiveness of the kits and health classes - and to measure the degree to which women and girls want our products and services. The results confirm our mission and all our beliefs with great certainty - the kits work and are wanted!

                                In New Mexico -  US Senators Udall and Heinrich, Governor (originally Congresswoman) Lujan Grisham, and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller have written in support of WTB. We know that there are girls and women in NM who cannot afford or do not have access to disposable menstrual products every month. These are survivors of domestic violence, those experiencing homelessness, those previously incarcerated, asylum seekers, and high school students. This is confirmed by local organizations who serve these populations.

                                Our immediate goals are to establish our partnership with Boys and Girls Club, with the intent of creating a sewing center to fabricate kits and distribute at schools; and to establish our partnership with Colores United, in Deming, to offer kits to asylum seeking women as they pass through to their out-of-state sponsors. Also, we have interest from domestic violence shelters and low-income sewing centers for contracts.

                                Looking Forward -  WTB plans to:

                                • Produce 5000+ Kits through 2020  

                                • Strengthen Operations

                                  To accomplish these future goals.

                                • We need YOUR help in raising funds

                                  • Funds are needed to source sewing center startups that eventually become self-self-sustaining businesses  

                                  • Funds source trips to these communities and centers to allow better management and guidance of local sta ff and leaders.

                                • Support is needed to expand and organize a volunteer pipeline, conduct successful c rowdfunding campaigns, write grants, and expand our network.

                                • Donations of time, flannel, cotton, and sewing expertise welcome! 

                                Girls can't wait . Millions of girls around the globe will get their periods today and not be able to e ff ectively manage their flow. Let's give them an opportunity to succeed, find freedom in life, and retain their dignity.  We have succeeded through sheer will, hard work, and love of girls. This exceptionally diverse group of committed, e ff ective, and scrappy volunteers view relationships and engagement as the key ingredients to success. But they cannot continue without more generous funding from people like YOU.