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United Nations Refugee Agency's Refugee-Led Innovation Fund Winner

Celebrating Menstrual Hygiene Day: Jennifer's Journey to Combat Period Poverty

In a world where millions of women and girls face barriers to reaching their full potential simply because of menstruation, the importance of initiatives like Menstrual Hygiene Day cannot be overstated. Today, we are happy to announce we are joining WASH United, on May 28th and all other days of the year. We unite to amplify awareness and action towards creating a #PeriodFriendlyWorld where menstruation is no longer a source of shame or limitation.

Let's delve into the inspiring story of Jennifer, a resilient woman who, despite facing adversity, is making a tangible difference in her community by combating period poverty.

Jennifer's journey began in South Sudan, where she lived amidst the turmoil of conflict. Forced to flee her home to seek safety, Jennifer found herself in the Bidibidi Refugee Settlement in Uganda. Amidst the challenges of displacement and uncertainty, Jennifer encountered a pressing issue that resonated deeply with her – period poverty.

In many communities, access to menstrual hygiene products is limited or non-existent, leading to significant challenges for women and girls. In Uganda, nearly a quarter of girls between the ages of 12 and 18 drop out of school due to menstruation, according to the Menstrual Hygiene Day 2023 report. Jennifer herself experienced the hardships of period poverty firsthand, witnessing the struggle of women and girls in her community who couldn't afford menstrual products.

Rather than succumbing to despair, Jennifer sees an opportunity to make a difference. Drawing from her own experiences and fueled by a desire to create change, she wants to embark on a mission to tackle period poverty head-on. With determination and ingenuity, Jennifer developed a groundbreaking business idea – producing reusable sanitary pads.

Jennifer's vision is simple yet powerful: to provide sustainable menstrual products while raising awareness about menstrual hygiene. Armed with her sewing skills and entrepreneurial spirit, Jennifer already started making reusable pads, crafted from locally-sourced materials. Her initiative aims to not only address the immediate need for menstrual products but also offer a sustainable solution that empowered women and girls in her community. Together, let's support her in turning her initiative into a social business!

Jennifer recognizes the importance of education. She wants to become a vocal advocate for menstrual hygiene, to conduct workshops and create awareness campaigns to destigmatize menstruation and empower young girls to stay in school.

As we celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day this year, let's support Jennifer's vision:

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