Saturday 28 March, 2020

Always launches #EndPeriodPoverty campaign for a 2nd year in Jamaica

#EndPeriodPoverty campaign was officially launched on February 18 and seeks to increase access to feminine hygiene products for girls in challenging economic circumstances so they can stay confident and stay in school. (Photo: Marlon Reid)

#EndPeriodPoverty campaign was officially launched on February 18 and seeks to increase access to feminine hygiene products for girls in challenging economic circumstances so they can stay confident and stay in school. (Photo: Marlon Reid)

A total of 200,000 pads will be donated in the second execution of the Always #EndPeriodPoverty campaign.

The initiative, a project of HerFlow Foundation, which, from last year teamed with Consumer Brands, distributors of Always, will also expand, by donating to schools in all 14 parishes.

During the launch of Terra Nova Hotel recently, Tamara Thompson, general manager of Consumer Brands said, “our aim this year is to reach even more girls who may be faced with challenging economic circumstances and who need the period protection.”

“We are hoping that an initiative such as this continues to generate conversations around the topic of period poverty. Not having access to a safe and hygienic way to deal with menstruation can have profound consequences, particularly on a girl’s education,” Thompson added.

According to Thompson, the public will be able to participate in the campaign, as each purchase of an Always sanitary napkin from February 17 until March 17, Consumer Brands will give one to a female student.

#EndPeriodPoverty campaign launch 2020

Click the gallery for more photos by Marlon Reid

Shelly-Ann Weeks, the founder of HerFlow Foundation, said the lack of sanitary products for females in high schools is a serious problem, which is bigger than she initially thought when she started the foundation.

Weeks said that while the public has been made more aware of the situation, more work needs to be done, especially in enlightening the males in society and taking away “the shame” from girls and women having a period.

According to Weeks, schools in which females are assisted have had an improvement in their schoolwork.

Weeks said, “once a girl has access to menstrual pads, school attendance improves, so do her grades and she has more confidence. Her overall attitude is better because she can focus and function with dignity. We are extremely proud of this because no girl should have to suffer as a result of this problem.”

The selection of the schools was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, whose deputy chief education officer, Dorrett Campbell, made a plea that the programme is extended to primary schools.

Campbell said, “we note that you have upped the ante and have donated an additional 30,000 more, which is remarkable. We are hoping that we can bump that up to 50,000 more.

“What I would like to see, however, is that you take your wings into our primary schools and impact the flow of the girls there, because a number of them experience early menstruation,” Campbell said.

Entrepreneur and former beauty queen Yendi Phillips, who is one of six ambassadors for the campaign, said, “period poverty is an unacceptable national epidemic. Let us start by acknowledging that far too many students in our schools are unable to afford basic menstrual hygiene products like pads.”

“By acknowledging the problem, we can take steps to dismantle the problem and ensure that everyone has access to period products,” Phillips said.

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