Grooming Girls Network (GGN) in partnership with Needbe Foundation has supported over three hundred needy young girls and women with cloth pads and menstrual cups in the Central Region.
The young girls and women are resident in several communities including Abokobi, Teiman, Betwease and Aseratoase.
Ms. Nana Yaa Afrakuma Amoako Baffoe, the founder of GGN, told the GNA that the initiative was motivated by her personal childhood experience.
She said, “This particular project was motivated by my own story because I was once a victim of period poverty. I missed school on several occasions during my period because my mom couldn’t afford to buy me a sanitary pad for the first two months when I started menstruating.
“The rag experience is very uncomfortable and humiliating because the boys in my class laughed at me anytime I soiled my uniform so I preferred to stay at home,” she said.
Ms. Baffoe said she observed that after the age of 14 years, a lot of young girls missed school because of the lack of access to sanitary material hence her team’s decision to embark on that journey.
“We have dedicated 2021 to menstrual heath management and fight period poverty. We started this project last year when we used to provide girls with disposable pads but we realized that it was not sustainable because we could not afford to provide for every girl for 12 months.
“After a thorough research, we came across the reusable or cloth pad which is currently used in Europe, Asia and some African countries,” she added.
She said the team faced financial difficulties because it relied on donations from friends, however, access to raw materials was another major challenge because materials were expensive.
She added that cheaper and quality ones had to be imported from Europe which came with import duties and hustle.
She called on government, stakeholders and policy makers to come to their aid financially and also appealed to governments to waive import duties/VAT on menstrual pads.
The GGN is a non-profit group which focuses on capacity building, mentorship and equipping young girls in rural areas especially, with skills, education and networking opportunities for self-development and economic sustenance.
It also focuses on menstrual hygiene management and period poverty, teenage pregnancy,
child marriage, Female Genital Mutilation(FGM), among others.