Health and nutrition News

Fighting period poverty: Wiley’s Finest and OrganiCup partner to supply menstrual cups to girls in Ghana

Wiley’s Finest UK sustainable fish oils company and OrganiCup menstrual cups have partnered to provide girls and women in Ghana long-lasting with menstrual cups to help combat period poverty through a fundraising campaign with British charity School in a Bag.

A study* found that 95% of girls in rural areas of Ghana reported missing school during their periods. Across all of Sub-Saharan Africa it is estimated that one in 10 girls miss out on school while menstruating, adding up to as much as 20% of a school year, says UNESCO. 

From 1 June to 1 October, Wiley’s Finest UK is donating 20% of sales from its Beginners DHA and Elementary EPA lines to School in a Bag’s Ghana initiative, which distribute ‘SchoolBags’ filled with educational resources to poor, orphaned, vulnerable, disadvantaged and disaster-affected children. The company hopes to raise thousands of pounds for the charity. In addition, OrganiCup will now also provide 400 menstrual cups both to young women and their mothers to end period poverty.

OrganiCup aims to reduce waste, as well as end the stigma and shame often associated with periods, through education and awareness. The medical-grade silicone cups last for up to ten years and remove the need for sanitary pads and tampons, which often girls cannot afford.  

School in a Bag’s Ghana initiative creates SchoolBags from discarded water sachets – bags of water that Ghanaians use by ripping the corner off of the sachets with their teeth and squirting the water into their mouths. Often the used sachets are discarded in the streets, creating litter and blocking the storm drains which, in turn, causes flooding, the damage of farmland crops and disease through stagnant water.

School in a Bag works with Ghanaian company Trashy Bags who employ local people to collect and wash the sachets. They are then sewn into SchoolBags and filled with educational resources. 87 water sachets are used to make each bag. As a result, streets and beaches are cleaned, jobs are created, littering is reduced through awareness and many Ghanaian children receive vital educational resources.

Each SchoolBag costs just £20 and contains life-changing resources such as pencils, pens, colouring pencils, a maths set, ruler, pencil case, exercise books, face mask and hygiene kit, water bottle, lunch box and Spork (a combined spoon and fork) and some of the charity’s projects include a LifeStraw; a personal and reusable drinking device which removes bacteria, virus and microplastics, ensuring children can drink safe, clean water.

“Our partnership with OrganiCup has increased the impact of our fundraising campaign exponentially”

Savio Joanes, sales director at Wiley’s Finest UK says: “Our partnership with OrganiCup has increased the impact of our fundraising campaign exponentially. Now we are helping to deliver not just SchoolBags filled with life-changing educational resources, but also life-changing resources for young women who often can’t afford the period products they need each month. Every pound we raise through the sales of our children’s Omega-3s products now goes a lot further.”

Soo Cieszynska, UK brand banager for OrganiCup says: “No girl or woman needs to be ashamed of their period, nor should they miss out on vital education. Our OrganiCups help women in their daily lives and are easier, healthier and greener. Over 200,000 tonnes of menstrual waste are discarded each year in the UK alone. Through better choices we can make an impact both here in the UK and in Ghana.

Luke Simon, Founder CEO of School in a Bag says: “All three partners involved are in perfect alignment. The addition of menstrual cups in the SchoolBags of Ghanaian girls will mean less school days are missed. By adding cups for the mothers too, we hope to help make generational changes to improve quality of life and a pathway out of poverty for families, as well as helping the mothers be the pioneers of change.”   

* Study by Ghana-based NGO Sustainable Development Focus (SUDEF).

Main image: Girls in Ghana familiarise themselves with OrganiCups. Photo credit Period Link

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