The Promoting Health and Wellbeing (ProHWell) foundation, a women and children’s advocacy organisation, undertook a “Hygiene Drive Campaign” at Lawra in the Upper West region on December 21, 2019, to address period poverty.
Florence Dery, the founder of ProHWell, undertook the project to donate reusable menstrual pads, soap, facecloths, tissue paper, and other hygiene products to 40 adolescent girls from five communities in the Lawra municipality.
The communities that benefited from the outreach included Tovour, Naayiri, Dakurayiri, Zongo and Nakurayiri.
Florence explained that the rationale of the campaign noting that period poverty is a global issue affecting women and girls who do not have access to safe and hygienic sanitary products.
“I took part in a research a year ago that sort to assess areas men and women are empowered and disempowered within the Water Sanitation and Hygiene sector and I came across a number of adolescent girls skipping school during menstruation because they did not have menstrual pads. This ignited my desire to do something in my little way to help adolescent girls obtain pads to enable them stay in school.”
Support for the outreach came through friends and social media and she was able to raise 600 Canadian dollars.
She also appealed to the government to consider including free menstrual pads in its free education policies to promote equity.
After receiving their hygiene packs, one JHS pupil said: “Some of us our parents have financial difficulties so it is hard to get pads for menstruation. We re therefore happy to receive this package. We urge you to do more for others and us.”
One other student, from SHS, said: “The people we live with are struggling to care for their girl own girl child how much more we the orphans. When it is time for menstruation, we always look for rags to use. So I am very excited about receiving this reusable cloth pads. I would not have to worry about pad again. Thank you to you and all the donors. We are very grateful. God bless you.”
Florence is a native of Lawra and a PhD student at the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University, Canada.