One78 Foundation, a non-governmental organization that provides care and empowerment for less privileged women and girls has unveiled ‘Pad a Girl Initiative’ envisioned to eradicate menstrual poverty amongst poor and vulnerable girls in Nigeria, by creating easy access to sanitary pads that are reusable, affordable and eco friendly.
In many rural communities in Nigeria, young girls have little access to sanitary pads and this affects their convenience and self-esteem.
Consequently, the initiative seeks to restore dignity and good health to the girl child.
Eni Eniola, founder/CEO, One78 Foundation, said the initiative was borne out of the need to empower young girls and women who are going through various forms of stigmatization, abuse and health challenges as a result of their natural menstrual cycle.
According to Eniola, what ought to be a proud period in the lives of most poor and vulnerable girls in Nigeria, often turn out to be their most dreadful period.
In some cases, menstruation becomes a dream-killer as the girls rarely get to attend schools during menstruation, while others who cannot afford a good menstrual pad rely on old rags and leaves as alternatives, with detrimental health challenges.
“They are also commonly vulnerable to sexual abuse in their quest to seek money to buy menstrual pads,” said Eniola.
She states further that the project affects a partnership with schools for easy access to young girls and making them available for training, as well as encouraging their parents and guardians in providing long term sustainability to the project.
It also enables the child leaders to share motivating stories with the girl child during the training. “Several schools in Lagos and remote areas of Epe, Badagry and Ibeju had been covered,” said Eniola.
Eni, together with other support partners such as Abosede Ashafe of OR initiatives, are passionately committed to ensuring that the initiative stands out as a laudable and sustainable project.
The ‘Pad a Girl Initiative’ is a long-term project that accommodates partnerships from relevant stakeholders and renowned corporate bodies, hence its yearly proposal sets to seek out sponsorship that will help in the continuity of the project.
The initiative is an ongoing project with laudable objectives such as collaboration, partnership and sponsorship by corporate bodies for donations of menstrual kits.
Organizing menstrual hygiene management training and workshops in schools and communities. Periodical donation of menstrual hygiene materials to poor and vulnerable school children in Nigeria.
On the other hand, the initiative seeks to optimize awareness of menstrual hygiene management amongst the young generation who serve as change agents in society. Minimized incidence of disease and death from unhygienic menstrual practices amongst vulnerable girls.