Here at Taboo Sanitary Products we’re super proud to have partnered with Melbourne based company One Girl, which aims to end period poverty by empowering women in Sierra Leone through educating them about menstruation and providing them with access to sanitary products.
One Girl recently released it’s first business report card for 2020 and Taboo thought we would share some insights into the projects we have decided to support. Like many businesses in the charitable sector, One Girl’s income has been impacted by the devastating economic effects of COVID-19. This caused their projects in Uganda and Sierra Leone to be adjusted to respond to the most pressing needs of the people living in these communities.
Featured Program: Business Brains
The Business Brains pilot program, based in Uganda, was unfortunately interrupted due to COVID-19 lock down. However, 156 students were able to complete 70% of the their training. An excellent feat! Classes teach students vocational skills such as how to market their goods and services, as well as financial management and customer relations. Invaluable skills for small business in Developing Countries! Students were divided into 7 different groups that focused on bakery and food, seed variety multiplication, hairdressing, tailoring, solar mechanics, liquid soap making and (most excitingly) making reusable sanitary products. Yay! One Girl was also able to provide Business Kits and equipment to students based upon their chosen area of study. The final semester of study for these amazing students will begin once lock down lifts. The Business Brains program reaches over 18,000 young women and some men as well.
It’s been a busy year so far for One Girl. The scholarships program introduced a new initiative in Q1 where girls are brought together to discuss something topical, with a focus on skills development. This quarter the girls were taught about COVID-19 prevention. These sessions are a great way for the girls in the program to form friendships together and to motivate each other in school. Launch Pad has also seen huge success in the sales of pads this quarter. 14,000 pads were sold in Q1 by Launch Pad champions, a record for the program.
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on One Girl’s funding, as the organisation does not receive any government funding. They rely solely on the generosity of the community and their business partners in order to run their programs. A number of One Girl’s business partners have been unable to support them in the way they had hoped and planned to this year. Due to this, One Girl’s small team of staff have significantly reduced their working hours as well as launched One Girl’s first ever emergency appeal for which TABOO raised $268.80 through the sale of TABOO merchandise. One Girl set the ambitious target of $100,000 and the community went above and beyond to help them achieve that goal. This meant that One Girl were able to continue to breakdown the barriers women and girls face in gaining an education during COVID-19.
Francesco Reza Safavi successfully climbed Mt. Everest solo and without the use of oxygen, without ever leaving his own home. How? Safavi ran up and down nearly 4000 flights of stairs in his two storey home, adding up elevations to reach the top of Everest and raising $29,000 for One Girl in the process.
One Girl Africa Regional Director, Yeniva has hired new field staff in Sierra Leone and trained them so quickly that within their first week of work they were able to visit communities and program participants. The team wasted no time getting to know the community and conducting wellness checks, as well as providing virus prevention information.