Globally, good hygiene practices are essential for the survival and development of adolescents especially the girl child. According to the United Nations, there are around 2.4 billion people who do not use improved sanitation, and about 663 million who do not have access to improved personal hygiene practices.
Every day, over 800 children die from preventable diseases caused by poor water, and a lack of sanitation and hygiene. In Sub- Saharan Africa, millions of school girls have been disempowered due to improper hygiene and lack of access to sanitary towels.
Due to this need, The Lagos Global Shapers Community embarked on an #EndPeriodPoverty project to promote quality hygiene and anti-period poverty awareness among adolescent girls in Lagos State.
The End Period Poverty project served as an open platform to enlighten, educate and equip the girl child on the benefits and need of personal hygiene practices towards improved health. It also promoted awareness and increased understanding of accessible quality hygiene products available to girls during their period cycles.
We collaborated with Global Shapers in Diaspora and distributed 100 tote bags with sanitary supplies to 100 school girls in Onala community on the 24th of December to kick off this project.
The event featured fascinating discussions about stigma around menstrual periods with interesting panelists like Fatima Ajimobi, Founder and Managing Director, Let’s Talk Humanity Initiative; Dami Odufuwa, Media Professional; Amanda Iheme, Psychotherapist and Founder, NDIDI; Sonia Irabor, Filmmaker and Editor for Genevieve Magazine and Tito Ovia, Co-founder and Executive Director Helium Health, also recently named as Forbes 30 under 30.
In attendance were over 50 volunteers and about 100 girls from Onala community. During the event, the girls with ages between 12 and 17, were cheered to speak more openly about their periods as it is not a disease as well as discourage school absenteeism by persuading them to be confident during their menstrual cycle.
At the end of the occasion, each girl was given a sanitary kit that comprised with sanitary towels, antiperspirant, toothbrush, tooth paste, soap and a diary.