Oct 4, 2021

Finding Partners to Increase Our Impact in Zambia

What does sustainability have to do with menstrual health? Well, quite a lot actually. It means AEP partners with organizations like Saalt, a menstrual cup manufacturer who cares not only about the impact of their products on our young girls, but their impact on our planet. Saalt believes that people powered and equipped to live their element can change the world.

As a Certified B corporation, Saalt commits 2% of their revenue to donate to period care to regions with the most need, and help fund initiatives in menstrual health, education and sustainability. According to Saalt's Impact Report, they have prevented over 4 million tampons from ending up in our landfills and have donated over 27,000 menstrual cups to young women and girls living in marginalized areas of the world.

For many years, AEP volunteers packed their suitcases with disposable pads before arriving in Kafue for a service learning trip or volunteer mission. Our girls could not afford a pack of 10 disposable pads that cost over a dollar per pack. The pad distributions were a welcomed event! But knowing how many disposable pads ended up in the trash was always disconcerting. AEP soon found a partner in Copper Rose Zambia who taught our girls how to make their own reusable menstrual pads and whom also assisted us in our menstrual health trainings.

“The thought of me not going to use a piece of cloth for my periods anymore is overwhelming, my prayer is that many more girls get to be blessed like me today.”

— Jessie, high school graduate and AEP Scholarship Program Recipient

Introducing menstrual cups to our girls was life-changing. Lumuno Chongo, AEP's Programs Director who also holds a degree in social work, provided in-depth health trainings to our girls in small groups and explains how the different sizes of menstrual cups are created to fit their bodies. It is not a one size for all solution. And, thanks to Saalt, AEP was provided with visual training aids that helped our girls understand the concept of menstrual cups and how they work. AEP and Saalt both agree that every time a girl chooses a reusable menstrual cup, thousands of single use period products are diverted from our landfills and oceans.

Saalt is helping AEP break the cycle of poverty in our community by providing essential menstrual health supplies to young women and girls so that they do not miss a day of school. By keeping these girls in school, educated and engaged, AEP realizes that a pathway out of poverty is created. Our holistic development program and scholarships ensure that as other needs arise, AEP is there to meet them. From tutoring in all major subjects to nutrition, leadership development and mentorship, our young leaders are made.

Want to learn more about our plans for the future? Join us on Wednesday, October 20th at 6:00 PM EDT for our virtual event: The Future in Focus. Click on the link for details.

We hope to see you soon!

Links:

Sep 1, 2021

AEP Can End Period Poverty Keeping Sustainability in Mind!

Lumuno Chongo provides health training
Lumuno Chongo provides health training

As we continue to empower our girls and young women, the African Education Program (AEP) is keeping sustainability in mind when providing menstrual health supplies.

What does sustainability mean when it comes to menstrual health? Well, quite a lot actually. It means AEP partners with organizations like Saalt, a menstrual cup manufacturer who cares not only about the impact of their products on our young girls, but their impact on our planet. Saalt believes that people powered and equipped to live their element can change the world.

As a Certified B corporation, Saalt commits 2% of their revenue to donate to period care to regions with the most need, and help fund initiatives in menstrual health, education and sustainability. According to Saalt's Impact Report, they have prevented over 4 million tampons from ending up in our landfills and have donated over 27,000 menstrual cups to young women and girls living in marginalized areas of the world.

Introducing menstrual cups to our girls was life-changing. Lumuno Chongo, AEP's Programs Director who also holds a degree in social work, provided in-depth health trainings to our girls in small groups and explains how the different sizes of menstrual cups are created to fit their bodies. It is not a one size for all solution. And, thanks to Saalt, AEP was provided with visual training aids that helped our girls understand the concept of menstrual cups and how they work. AEP and Saalt both agree that every time a girl chooses a reusable menstrual cup, thousands of single use period products are diverted from our landfills and oceans.

Saalt is helping AEP break the cycle of poverty in our community by providing essential menstrual health supplies to young women and girls so that they do not miss a day of school. By keeping these girls in school, educated and engaged, AEP realizes that a pathway out of poverty is created. Our holistic development program and scholarships ensure that as other needs arise, AEP is there to meet them. From tutoring in all major subjects to nutrition, leadership development and mentorship, our young leaders are made.

Menstrual cup training in progress
Menstrual cup training in progress

Links:

Jun 4, 2021

Getting the Girls the Help They Need!

As we continue to empower our teenage girls and help them focus on pregnancy prevention, the African Education Program (AEP) is formalizing their sexual and reproductive health programming by providing menstrual health supplies and health trainings to bring an end to period poverty.

AEP welcomed 137 girls into the 2021 Nyali Scholarship Program this Spring as we focus on girls' empowerment through education and providing the holistic support that they need to help them become healthy, successful, African leaders in their communities. Education is not free after the 8th grade in Zambia and mandatory school fees keep many young people, especially girls, from realizing their full potential through access to education. Unlike most organizations that focus on a singular solution like scholarships, AEP takes a holistic approach to providing resources and opportunities so youth members can overcome any challenge they face to reach their full potential as critically thinking, innovative leaders. 

AEP considers the unique challenges that each child faces over the years. Children and youth come to the center several times a week over the course of many years, providing countless touchpoints to address the challenges holding a child back. AEP’s model is not a quick fix, it is a decade long investment. Once fully immersed, if a child wants to pull themselves out of poverty, they can take advantage of the resources provided maximizing their chances of success. This model creates opportunities for youth to discover their own unique gifts and talents and helps them break their cycle of poverty while becoming inspired leaders eager to create change.

This is why we celebrate even the small success stories like training our new scholarship recipients in menstrual health. Period poverty often keeps girls and young women from attending school during their menstrual cycle due to lack of supplies and stigma. AEP works hard to partner with organizations that help us bring sustainable products to our community. Out of 26 girls in our April training, only one girl had seen or heard of a menstrual cup. The fact that a menstrual cup can be used for up to 10 years is very exciting to a young girl who worries about finding the funds to purchase menstrual products each month.

So THANK YOU for partnering with us and helping us get our girls and young women the resources they need so that they can stay focused on their education.

Links:

 
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