Every team member here at Drake Cooper is ambitious. We’re a passionate bunch that works as hard as possible to deliver amazing results for our clients, and there is always one project each year that holds a special place in our hearts, our annual Dream Big Program.
Through this program, we work with one ambitious non-profit organization to help develop a unique in-kind branding and cause marketing campaign. By honing our pro bono efforts, we are able to make a real impact – amplifying the outstanding work these organizations are doing by providing timeless brand recognition, unique designs, and responsive, user-centric websites that get results.
Ultimately, we hope our collaborative work with these charitable organizations increases community awareness, makes it easier to fundraise, recruit volunteers, and inspire action around an important cause. This year our recipient is PATH, a Seattle-based international non-profit organization that saves lives and improves health, especially among women and children.-
Ensuring Health for Everyone
PATH works through five platforms for saving lives and improving health around the globe by giving vaccines to children, drugs to treat diseases, diagnostics to track diseases, devices to aid in healthy practices, and system and service innovations.
Our campaign with PATH took us around the world to address a topic that many people, unfortunately, still view as “taboo” – menstrual health. Sadly, there are many areas in the world, from parts of Africa, India, Myanmar, Vietnam, China and more, where girls do not have access to supplies or support when they begin menstruation.
The topic of menstrual health is swept under the rug in many parts of the globe which has created an unhealthy culture of silence. In turn, open discussion and support have been avoided for fear of being isolated, leading girls to begin menarche in isolation, without a clear understanding of what is happening to their bodies.
This “culture of silence” around menstrual health is pervasive. Here in the U.S. research from Kimberly-Clark reveals that 40 percent of people are uncomfortable just buying tampons. A statistic that is unsettling to say the least.
This initiative needed a narrative – a compelling, distinctive look and feel to help draw attention to a global challenge that very few people know exists. We focused our efforts on the girls who needed a voice.
Who are these girls, and how long before menstruation becomes too much of an obstacle?
They’re future writers, artists, architects, doctors, yet without access to menstrual products or support, many of them stay away from school when they are menstruating because they are teased, embarrassed, or shunned. They can miss up to a week of school at a time, and when you multiply that every month, they begin to fall far behind.
Drake Cooper and PATH worked together to design a compelling narrative to bring global awareness to this issue.
The campaign, She’s Just Getting Started, brings awareness to the challenge surrounding menstrual health and acknowledges that there is something that can be done about the issue. These women and girls need access to affordable supplies, support, and information. Providing these tools will give them knowledge, confidence, opportunity, and the power to realize their full potential.
She’s Just Getting Started debuted in Copenhagen, Denmark at the May 2016 Women Deliver conference, one of the world’s largest gatherings of policymakers, advocates, and researchers focused exclusively on women’s health and empowerment. At the conference PATH shared the message and challenge with like-minded organizations and individuals from across the world. Conference attendees were inspired to get involved and help draw attention to this important issue.
What’s Next? Addressing the Need.
Bringing recognition to the costs for menstrual health has helped leaders and experts around the world join a growing movement. National governments in Kenya, India, and South Africa have committed to subsidizing sanitary pads for low-income girls to help them attend school.
Steps are being made towards solving the problem, but there is still work to be done. Many menstrual care products are still not available through most markets, or prices remain too high for the many low-income women who would benefit from them the most. Educational curricula remain in high demand as well; WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) services and waste disposal approaches are of high-value and help increase awareness and encourage advocacy. Meeting these needs is no small feat, they will require innovative partnerships and collaborative efforts to obtain sustainable solutions.
Working jointly with PATH, Drake Cooper designed the look and feel, concepted and wrote the visual video essay, developed the website and provided the illustration for the campaign. Our friends at North by Northwest animated the video essay and musicians Steve Fulton and Mark Doubleday composed a beautiful original score recorded at Audio Lab. These collaborations were integral in helping bring the story to life.
Now we need your help. We can make a change by simply spreading the word! On May 28th, Menstrual Hygiene Day will be in full swing, bringing to light the challenges women and girls worldwide face due to their menstruation. Spread the word through social media, start a conversation, or organize your own activity – we have all the tools you need right here.
Get involved and help these girls reach their full potential. After all, they are just getting started.