Q&A With Microgrant Recipient Aanya


Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youth 18 years of age & younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. Microgrant recipient Aanya (16) from FL used her award to give girls attending Title 1 low-income middle and high schools direct & free access to menstrual products in bathrooms to manage their cycle with dignity. She founded the nonprofit Global Girls Initiative in 2020, and you can read more about her work fighting period poverty here.

  1. What inspired you to start this project? When I learned about period poverty through a global forum. Period poverty is when one is unable to afford or have access to period products. I learned that “1 in 5 girls miss school due to lack of access to period products.” I attend a Title I high school, and after speaking with my school nurse, I found out many girls would come every month looking for pads and she would have to turn them away due to lack of supplies. I decided to take action by collecting funds to purchase a menstrual dispenser to be made available in school bathrooms. 
  2. While working on your project, what surprised you? Period poverty is more prevalent in Title I schools in which over 40% families live below federal poverty levels. These families can find it difficult–and are sometimes unable–to buy groceries, pay for utilities, rent and personal care items like period products. Girls from these families sometimes end up using unhygienic alternatives such as tissue paper, old T-shirts, rags, newspapers to manage their cycle. When using these unhygienic products girls often fear bleeding through their clothes which can impact their confidence. Additionally girls from these families can often miss out on weeks of school because their families can’t buy period products. 
  3. What do you feel you learned from this experience? Period poverty is real issue in a developed country like the US, and it impacts girls’ education. Girls not having proper period products impacts their self confidence. Girls sometimes don’t have enough education to understand what a period is, why they have it, and different products that are available to manage it.
  4. How did Karma for Cara impact your project? Thank you, Karma for Cara, for the grant to purchase 2 menstrual hygiene dispensers. These dispensers give girls direct & free access to period products in bathrooms to manage their cycle with dignity.
  5. How will your project continue to impact others? This will provide free and easy access to pads for girls to manage their cycle. They will feel comfortable & confident in attending classes, be able to participate in after school activities, and not miss school. 
  6. How many hours did you spend on your project? 50
  7. How many youth volunteers or students were involved in your project? 3
  8. How many total hours did other youth volunteers or students spend on your project? 50