Estimated duration
1 Year
Estimated total value
Latin America & Caribbean
Dominican Republic
CROSS Catholic Outreach, Period Company

Supporting schoolgirls in Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management


The Batey Relief Alliance Women’s Empowerment Initiative committed in 2022 to launching a new holistic menstrual health and hygiene project that will support 96 schoolgirls and 120 mothers in the advancement of their gender equality and health equity rights. 120 women will be guided in adopting market-oriented strategies to develop income-producing agricultural production activities. 96 schoolgirls and their mothers will be provided with training and workshops on menstrual health and hygiene management products and training, making it easier for them to go to school or work free of stigma, shame or embarrassment.


To be carried within batey community of Guazumita, the BRA Women’s Empowerment Initiative commits to address barriers for 96 school-aged girls to go to school and 120 mothers to engage in agricultural-based economic opportunities via the following objectives and activities:

OBJECTIVE #1: Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management (120 women and 96 girls) -12 workshops on menstrual health and hygiene management education, including the prevention of stigma, shame and embarrassment during menstruation cycles; and skills training on how to make, use, safely store reusable sanitary pads delivered.

-46 schoolgirls’ brothers received training on menstrual health education and tolerance.

-10,000 reusable period underwear distributed to 96 girls and 120 mothers in this CTA and additional girls and mothers living in surrounding communities.

-120 women participants trained as Community Health Workers (6 sessions) .

-120 women and their families received access to maternal-child health care, clean drinking water, multivitamins, antiworm medicines and nutrition.

-12 workshops on safe handling of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) delivered.

OBJECTIVE #2: Financial sufficiency (120 women) -120 loans of U.S. $200/woman at 2% interest to 120 women distributed.

-12 workshops on financial literacy and skills training in agricultural production best practices delivered.

-4 technical assistance and follow-up sessions delivered on agricultural production and how to fill out and sign the loan applications.

-Linkage to potential buyers provided (if applicable) .

-Registered 120 women in the BRA Agricultural Cooperative to implement their individual projects and receive free technical assistance.

OBJECTIVE #3: Training on effective agricultural planning, production and marketing (120 women) -12-month production plan and agricultural strategies adopted.

-12 agricultural planning, production and marketing strategies and other input delivered.

-120 women guided to purchase chicken and pigs and provided with seeds and vitamins to improve their agricultural production.

-192 pigs and chickens and 2,400 crops produced.

Action Plan


July 2022: Introduced CTA proposal to CGI for evaluation and guidance. Through CGI, secured collaboration of Period Company as contributing partner to CTA. Submitted CTA draft to CGI for evaluation and approval. Period Company shipped 1,767 pairs of underwear to Batey Relief Alliance for distribution in Dominican Republic.

Met with community members and other key stakeholders to introduce project/commitment and identify 12 women leaders to involve in the design of base line survey data collection materials and project/commitment implementation activities; produced instructional materials on COVID-19, WASH, agricultural production best practices and menstrual health and hygiene management.

AUGUST 2022: Conducted survey #1 of 10% of 120 women and 96 girls to determine socio-economic conditions, knowledge of menstrual health and hygiene management and level of water-borne infections.


September 2022-June 2023

Objective/Action Plan #1

-Conducted follow-up meetings with personnel and participants on commitment benchmarks.

-Conducted monitoring/ visits to identify success and obstacles and take remedial actions.

Objective/Action Plan #2

-Conducted follow-up meetings with personnel and participants on commitment benchmarks.

-Conducted monitoring/evaluation visits to identify success and obstacles and take remedial actions.

Objective/Action #3

-Conducted follow-up meetings with local personnel and participants on commitment benchmarks.

-Conducted monitoring/evaluation visits to identify success and obstacles and take remedial actions.

May 2023: Conduct Survey #2 to evaluate overall commitment results and challenges – and possibility to expand best practices into additional communities (discuss with CGI to help identify contributing partners) .

July 2023: Hosted “FERIA BRA 2023” where: 1) 120 women will graduate and receive certificates as new “Entrepreneurs” and 96 girls will also receive certificates as “Menstrual Health Promoters” for completing a 10-month training on menstrual health and hygiene management; and 2) 120 women farmers will showcase and sell their products to the public.


Dominican Republic’s “bateyes” are vulnerable sugarcane plantations rural communities where migrant cane cutters worked and lived with their offspring. The privatization/automation of the national sugar industry in the early 1990s, however, left 200,000+ residents deeper into poverty without employment and access to basic services. Many women turned to transactional and commercial sex for survival exposing them to sexually transmitted infections, notably HIV/AIDS. Women and girls frequently suffered from household violence, gender inequality and health inequity (ENDESA 2002) .

In 2021, Batey Relief Alliance published the country’s first and only study on menstrual health revealing more than 20% of schoolgirls in Monte Plata province missed 2-3 schooldays per month during menstruation due to the lack of access to sanitary pads. With barely one household income to support a family of 3.5, money within the bateyes is a rare commodity and often not enough to buy expensive disposable menstrual products. The environment clearly puts the girls at an academic and heath disadvantage. Inspired by the Batey Relief Alliance study, Dominican Congressman Omar L. Fernandez later introduced a new bill proposing to make all sanitary products tax-free in the country.

The CTA will provide 96 girls and 120 women access to menstrual health and hygiene management training and education, including how to make, use, safely store and reuse sanitary pads—environmentally-friendly and cost-effective steps to potentially deter stigma and shame, and raise self-esteem of the girls to learn, compete and succeed academically. Their mothers will receive microloans to engage in income-generating agricultural production activities to achieve household financial stability and food security, making it more stable, safe and productive for the girls to retain their mental, physical, emotional and psychological strengths needed to stay in school. Additional support will include access to reusable period underwear, clean water, nutrition, medical referrals, micronutrients and WASH training.

Progress Update

To date the Batey Relief Alliance has: Conducted a baseline survey of 10% of the female population to evaluate needs and design measurable benchmarks and action plans; Delivered workshops to 120 women on agricultural production best practices; delivered 120 micro loans to 120 working-age women and mothers to engage in income-producing micro agricultural production activities; Registered 120 female participants as Community Health Workers to serve as multipliers in preventive health education around sexually transmitted infections, HIV, nutrition, WASH, gender-based violence, breast and cervical cancers, etc.; Delivered skills training and workshops to 120 women and 96 girls on health and hygiene management, including how to make, use, store and reuse sanitary pads; Distributed 1000 free menstrual underwear to 216 women and adolescents in this Commitment donated by Commitment partner Period Company; Distributed 10,000 free sanitary pads to 868 women and adolescents donated by Always; Provided the female populations and their families with access to complementary support including, USAID/PEPFAR-funded comprehensive medical/HIV services, USAID-donated nutritious food products, P&G water purifier sachets, multivitamins and antiworm medicines and WASH education. Furthermore, under Batey Relief Alliance’s new housing initiative launched in 2022, BRA built 5 new homes for 5 financially-at-risk women participants in the Commitment who were living in uninhabitable borrowed homes, making it safer for them to further escape the cycle of poverty and household violence and for their children and adolescent girls to concentrate and learn in school—vital steps to help reduce school dropouts and absences.

Partnership Opportunities

Financial or in-kind resources are needed to assist beneficiaries who are unable to meet their financial/loan obligations due to unforeseen adverse circumstances; to help beneficiaries scale their businesses to meet increased local demands; to purchase additional agricultural input for beneficiaries to expand production and increase revenues; and to provide technical assistance in computer/internet literacy.

Best practice information is needed to help strengthen the commitment in areas of agricultural production, marketing and sales; menstrual health and hygiene rights; technology; micro finance; and gender-based violence management.

Social media support is needed to promote the commitment on the internet

Batey Relief Alliance is offering prospective partners an opportunity to join us in raising public awareness about menstrual health inequity and delivering direct assistance to populations within Dominican Republic’s highly vulnerable rural “batey” communities; and best practices used to address the populations’ needs from a holistic approach.

NOTE: This Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action is made, implemented, and tracked by the partners listed. CGI is a program dedicated forging new partnerships, providing technical support, and elevating compelling models with potential to scale. CGI does not directly fund or implement these projects.