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.
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