# One for the girls

By Victoria Latu

The Girl Effect…

 

Much has been said about empowering and educating girls as a definitive way of fighting off poverty and moving a society forward. But along with the massive challenge of changing thought patterns and deeply ingrained values of a society it’s a girls biology that could be her biggest obstacle of all when it comes to getting an education.

oneforthegirls

Pictured Mia Klitsas, Victoria Latu and Sophia Klumpp

In Uganda (and many developing countries for that matter) girls regularly miss school every month because they don’t have adequate means of managing their periods. Lets do the math shall we… Each month a girl could miss an average of three to five days of class, when you think about it, there are nine months in a school year. Approximately twenty percent of the school year, a lot wouldn’t you say?

 

There are a multitude of issues to consider for something we sometimes don’t give a passing thought. Like the fact that disposable pads don’t really work there because villages are not equipped with the competent irrigation systems that we in Australia are accustomed to. And then there’s the cost, which is a huge factor, girls can’t afford  paying for these necessities monthly (it’s not even that affordable here in Australia… if you don’t mind me saying)

 

So then, how do they usually take care of business? Well I am told they use many an uncomfortable method but the most prominent method is a folded cloth, washed, dried and reused. So that’s where the  “I’m on the rag” expression comes from.

 

Here is why I am excited to introduce you to Mia Klitsas co founder of Moxie products and Sophia Klumpp from AFRIpads. These ladies do amazing stuff but on different sides of the planet.

 

AFRIpads was conceived when Sophia herself living in a village in Uganda whilst doing some field work internships and ran out of pads, and the closest town to where she could purchase some was 45 minutes away on a motorcycle.  It’s true what they say; necessity is the mother of all great inventions.

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AFRIpads is now a social company with 60 employees not only producing great reusable pads with which young girls can comfortably experience there periods, but as a result also creating jobs, secretarial jobs, meaning it greatly increases their earning potential. They have reached 150000 girls and women with their products. The thing is Uganda has a population of 34 million and life expectancy is between 50 and 53 years, so you see with such a young population 150000 girls in 3 years is not enough.

 

Mia on the other hand is the co founder of Moxie products, an amazing Australian company that produces and sells a variety of great feminine hygiene products and their packaging is to die for. Seriously it is so chic, you actually aren’t embarrassed to be caught holding it as you check out of you local super market! It is also a business that displays an immense amount of social consciousness, which we modern ladies truly respect and look for in a trusted brand. They definitely win my dollars vote on all fronts.

 

These two ladies have decided to combine force….which is just genius

 

So this is how this joint initiative will work…

For every pack of Moxie Slender liners, Slender Pads or sleep over pads sold during the promotion Moxie will send the equivalent amount of locally made, re-usable pads to young Ugandan girls with the help of AFRIpads.

 

I know no one like talks about feminine hygiene and definitely not periods… It’s makes us feel all self-conscious. It’s a lot less embarrassing to talk malnutrition and poverty. But this is an issue and it needs your support or in the very least your awareness.

 

Ladies, you are going to buy this stuff anyway, but by buying Moxie pads, you are personally contributing to helping Ugandan women getting the education they deserve.

 

Oh, there is also an awesome social media initiative to help push this project along whilst simultaneously reminding us to be grateful for the little things in life.

 

Here’s how, take picture of something that you are grateful for and post it on social media with the hastags #grateful and #oneforthegirls.

 

Come on ladies we can do this!

 

Love  V.