This moth at TABOO, Isobel, Thenu and myself were fortunate enough to head to Melbourne and finally meet some of the team members behind the wonderful organisation OneGirl!
These bunch of superstars are focused and committed to educating girls, currently in Sub
Saharan Africa through different programs they facilitate. One initiative they run is called
Launch Pad; a program TABOO is most excited about.
At TABOO, “We believe that every woman around the world deserves access to safe and
culturally appropriate menstrual health products.” Launch Pad provides women and girls
access to culturally appropriate, affordable and hygienic sanitary products. In places like Sub Saharan Africa, periods are considered to be so taboo that they often prevent girls from continuing their day to day lives. For example, if a girl is to attend school whilst on her period and is seen bleeding because she does not have access to menstrual health care products, she risks being shunned from her community . As a result, 1 in 10 African girls skip school whist they are menstruating (United Nations Children’s Fund). Unfortunately, menstruation is an enormous barrier that’s stopping girls completing school and obtaining an education.
Many girls drop out of school entirely once they hit puberty simply because they were born a female and have no appropriate facilities to deal with their periods.
It is recognised globally that education can play a huge part in breaking the cycle of poverty.
There is tremendous power in providing females with the opportunity to receive an education. A woman's' wage is likely to increase by 10%-15% for every extra year of education they receive and 90% of that income is likely to be invested back into that woman’s family (onegirl.org).
It is great that these girls are being provided access to proper health care but what is the
point if they don’t know how to use these products? If you had never seen a pad in your life before, I doubt you’d instantly use it in the right way either. This is another great advantage of the program Launch Pad! Along with their mission to provide these girls with appropriate products, they administer culturally appropriate menstrual health education programs for young girls and boys. Both TABOO and OneGirl believe and understand how important it is that both females and males are aware of how the menstrual cycle works to understand topics like sexual health, contraception and the normality of menstruation. It has been a very exciting month here at TABOO. We are always inspired and refreshed after speaking about how, together with our followers, volunteers and team members, TABOO has the potential to change many lives.
FACT OF THE CYCLE
Girls in Kenya miss an average of 4.9 days of school each month because of their periods.
Written by Eloise Hall