ARMY spouse Alison Skipper, currently posted with her husband to Amman, in Jordan, explains why she’s been inspired to set up The Cariad Project JO to provide local refugees with hygiene and period kits…
At the beginning of 2018 my husband received the news that we would be moving to Jordan and that he would be taking up post as SO2 music/ceremonial adviser, writes Alison. I joined the Corps of Army Music soon after leaving school in 2007 and served for eight years, so I was already comfortable with moving around – although leaving Wiltshire for Jordan was tough as we had made some amazing friends.
We settled into Jordanian life quickly and in January I had the opportunity to visit churches and centres supporting refugee families and listened to harrowing accounts of how they have come to be in the country and the violence they fled. Jordan welcomes refugees from locations including Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia and Iraq and while there are organisations that provide food, trauma relief and emergency care, there is no-one helping with period and hygiene kits.
So, I created The Cariad Project JO, contacted all the big names in the period and hygiene world hoping to secure some donations – and was knocked back by all of them! Step forward Topsy Daisy, a family run reusable period pad company, which kindly offered to support the project by providing a large selection of its pads.
While I wait for them to arrive, I am preparing period kits containing disposable pads and hygiene products for the people in immediate need. The women the project will help are currently putting their children’s and husbands’ needs before their own. During their periods some women are using their children’s nappies, some are covering full pads with layers of toilet roll, but shockingly nearly all women are using rags. In the future, I am planning to hold period taboo busting sessions in the hope of empowering a new generation of young women.