menstrual poverty !
BruZelle is a project grown out of solidarity and started on October 17th 2016. Two girl friends felt concerned for women living in precarity and/or without a fixed abode. They wondered how women living on the streets experience their menstruation.
They came to the conclusion that these women suffer from poor access to menstrual products. When free distribution was organised, these did not meet the need for dignity and abundance.
Because menstruation comes every month, also for women living on the streets!
In January 2017 our operation was legalized by the establishment of V.Z.W. BruZelle A.S.B.L. The good functioning of the organisation is ensured by its administrators and members, spread over multiple teams in the north, middle and south of the country. All members and administrators are volunteers and carry the project free of charge.
Today BruZelle is most active in Brussels. Steadily more and more local teams are set up in Flanders and Wallonia so we can also respond to demands emerging there.
BruZelle is a service that operate all year round. Many initiatives for people living in precarity are punctual. BruZelle is active throughout the year, because menstruation does not depend on seasons! Every 28 days! The whole year around!
The main objective of BruZelle is to collect menstrual pads and distribute them freely, in a discreet beautiful fabric bag, and most importantly in dignity to people who go through a rough time.
Moreover, BruZelle has the mission to raise awareness, inform, communicate, educate about menstruation in precarious or emergency situations.
The team of BruZelle partakes actively in seminars, debates, conferences, festivals, studies and interviews to denounce the theme of menstrual poverty, to exchange ideas and experiences in order to identify and implement practical solutions.
Menstrual poverty means that people who menstruate have difficulty accessing menstrual protection or have to go without.
As an extension, menstrual poverty implies that women have to make the difficult choice between basic necessities and are not always able to buy (enough) menstrual protections for lack of financial means.
the cycle of BruZelle
It all begins with collecting…
The cycle of BruZelle starts with the set up of donation boxes. You can find these boxes at our private and public partners and in our Brussels office. In the box, anyone can leave menstrual pads, fabric to make the bags or homemade bags. The donation boxes are emptied on a regular basis.
BruZelle also has a network of liaison persons, which are an indispensable addition to the collecting points. These liaison persons are volunteers who accept donations at their home on agreed times.
then we organize workshops to fill the bags…
BruZelle organises workshops to fill the fabric bags with menstrual pads. We unite people willing to help BruZelle by freeing up some time.
The workshops are also an occasion to exchange ideas, information and suggestions between participants and the team of BruZelle.
then fabric bags are sewed…
The menstrual pads are always distributed in purpose made fabric bags.
Fabric is given through donations. Volunteers, partners from social workplaces, community centers and sewing clubs turn it into bags.
Each bag is then filled with 20 menstrual pads and an informative leaflet.
and finally we distribute the bags!
BruZelle gives the menstrual pads to anyone in need, regardless of their situation, nationality, sexual or religious identity.
BruZelle collaborates with grassroot partners like social welfare centers, day and night shelters for homeless women, food banks, social grocery stores at university campusses, NGOs active in refugee camps or squats.
To keep the finger on the pulse and in collaboration with our partners in the field, the BruZelle team goes out on the streets to give the bags to people they encounter.
The bags can also be picked up during opening hours in the Brussels office of BruZelle.