This device making menstruation safer for girls living in poverty.
Image by Mariko Higaki Iwai.

For girls living in extreme poverty around the globe, getting their periods can be a particularly trying ordeal.

Inaccessible or unaffordable sanitary items mean that many young women are left using and reusing menstrual pads over and over again — a process that can be both time-consuming and, particularly, unhygienic.

What’s more, the inability to access affordable feminine sanitary products has ramifications far beyond hygiene. Stigmas against menstruation, coupled with fears over the unreliability of insufficiently cleaned pads, lead some girls in impoverished rural communities to simply sequester themselves at home during their periods, or even drop out of school entirely.


With this in mind, a team of students from the Art Center College of Design has created “Flo,” a multi-purpose device that allows women living in poverty to more effectively clean, dry, and carry around their reusable menstrual pads, thereby making periods safer, and less disruptive to their lives.

As co-creator Mariko Higaki Iwai explains, Flo went through a number of testing iterations based on data provided by fieldwork done by the Nike Foundation and Fuseproject, before arriving at its final design.

On its website, the James Dyson Foundation zeroes in on what makes Flo so powerful a tool:

Girls will have access to dry, clean pads that can reduce illness and will be more comfortable, both physically, and emotionally. Girls will be able to work around their menstrual cycle and be in control. By having control over their menstrual cycle, girls do not have to give up on their dreams and can be empowered to pursue what she wants to become.

Flo, reports Business Insider, has already been selected as a top prize winner at the 2016 International Design Excellence Awards. Students from the Yale School of Management are working to develop a roll-out plan for the product, with Flo expected to retail for under $3.

This article originally appeared on GOOD.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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This article originally appeared on 11.21.16


Photographer Katie Joy Crawford had been battling anxiety for 10 years when she decided to face it straight on by turning the camera lens on herself.

In 2015, Upworthy shared Crawford's self-portraits and our readers responded with tons of empathy. One person said, "What a wonderful way to express what words cannot." Another reader added, "I think she hit the nail right on the head. It's like a constant battle with yourself. I often feel my emotions battling each other."

So we wanted to go back and talk to the photographer directly about this soul-baring project.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."