Women in the western world have many challenges but, easily accessible and affordable sanitary towels is not one. In many marginalized and rural parts of Africa, young girls face monthly struggles to access these products. In a direct response, AFRIpad was created to provide these women with reusable and sustainable sanitary towels.
Aside from taking care of this need, AFRIpad also hires marginalized Ugandan women to develop these pads which in turn gives them work, the pay that they deserve which will ultimately trickles back down into their communities.
It is by no doubt that this initiative empowers women, and it is the very reason that won over Lady Aphrodite Poullos. In a bid to raise £1000, Lady Aphrodite is set to climb the ‘3 Peaks’ consisting of the Snowden, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis mountains.
With the love of charity from a young age, Lady Aphrodite demonstrates that passion with a purpose brings about change. To donate, please visit: www.gofundme.com/3PEAKS4AFRIPADS
Find out more about what Lady Aphrodite has to say in the interview below.
Tell us a bit about your AFRipad Campaign?
AFRIpads develops reusable sanitary pads for those most marginalized in Uganda, with every 5 euros (approximately £4), providing one menstruation kit for a girl in Uganda. Usually many girls who are unable to purchase sanitary pads end up leaving school early, not finishing their education, and ultimately not pursuing their dreams. I want to raise money to give a girl a fighting chance. AFRIpads at least ensures that they do not have to suffer each month, missing a week from school, and weeks off in a year.
Through my fundraiser ‘3 PEAKS 4 AFRIPADS’ I hope to raise funds for the AFRIpad Foundation. I will be climbing the 3 Peaks in the UK from the 6th April (which are Snowden, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis) for these girls.
This trip I feel acts as a metaphor – it may not equate to their everyday struggles but I am doing this for them- it is me saying, “I am going to climb these mountains so that you can climb over yours.” My target is £1000 and I do intend on getting this, even if it means that I still have to fundraise after my climb. This campaign is undoubtedly an investment, and I am willing to give my time for something many of us take for granted as women in the western world.
Since I was a child I have always said I wanted to be a charity worker- for me then, and even now, earning money was not the objective, but helping others and travelling was. These traits I feel I have gotten from my parents who both enact the same sort of giving spirit. My mother whenever she was in Ghana would throw parties for orphanages there, and my father would always be the kind of person who would go out of his way to help people. So that was that – I refused to do it for my own gain.
Initially I had planned to climb the 3 Peaks for myself but a friend suggested that it would be worthwhile to join a group of people doing it. On further thought, I felt the need to do it as a source of encouragement for others which led me to stumble across AFRipads.
I first discovered AFRIpads through Facebook one day, my attention piqued as this was something I had never had to think about as a woman living in the UK. Upon further research, I knew that this was the right cause to support and raise funds for.
In the media, ‘death’ is what shakes people up- makes them stand up and pay attention to the world. It makes people realise that this world is not as perfect as we might think it is from our slight scope of it. With all the sensationalism of this we then neglect to remember their everyday struggles, the constant anxiety and stress in disadvantaged areas.
My end goal would be to see more positive dialogue on the issue as it is often a taboo subject- even here in this part of the world.
If you could influence any government policy regarding young people in Africa (specifically girls), what would it be?
For these girls long term investments need to be made, to ensure that they get the life that they deserve. Women in disadvantaged communities such as these are the power houses, they clean, cook and share whatever menial amounts of money they earn within the family and community.
First of I would say that the best place to start, is with education. According to the United Nations, women account for two thirds of the world’s 774 million adult illiterates. Women are also significantly underrepresented among legislators, senior officials and managers and more. In addition, early marriage and high fertility limit such women’s opportunities for education and employment and can severely diminish their chances for advancement in life.
So it all boils down to one thing: an investment and nationwide encouragement of girl’s enrolment and consistent participation at school. Radio also serves as is a key source of transmission in disadvantaged regions, especially for those who are illiterate, thus, encouraging girls to go to school, advertising job positions for women, announcing drop off points of sanitary materials for young girls, and more will be beneficial.
Finally, a change of mind-set is key as the government can only do so much if it is not understood from the ground up. But the key is education – education brings opportunity.
What do you think about the GUBA Awards?
I am glad that GUBA exists. This is because GUBA represents Ghanaian businesses and individuals. This reassures me- knowing fundamentally that Africans are not all rags and sad charity infomercials that we so often see in the media- but that we thrive, we are smart, creative, empowered and productive people. Everyone deserves to be recognised.
How can those in the UK get involved with your project?
Getting involved is easy – and needed. To donate, go to my fundraising page: www.gofundme.com/3PEAKS4AFRIPADS. On this page you will also find all the information you will need to understand more about what I am doing and what AFRIpads does. If you are in the UK and feel a sudden urge to also climb the 3 Peaks, you are more than welcome.
We encourage you all to donate to this amazing lady and support the AFRIpad campaign. Find out more about AFRIpad at www.afripads.com