Home Featured How Four Sierra Leonean Women Collaborated to End Period Poverty for 300 Girls

How Four Sierra Leonean Women Collaborated to End Period Poverty for 300 Girls

by Frañkvin Bob McEwen
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Vickie Remoe, Save the Children Sierra Leone Girl Ambassador, has donated 900 pads to help 300 Girls experiencing “period poverty” in Hanga Village, Kenema District. The gift happened because of digital connections and the collaborative efforts of three Sierra Leonean women.

“I reached out to Vickie on Instagram and sent her a sample of our pads. She offered to help us sell them by hosting a fundraiser,” said Haja Isatu Bah, CEO, Uman4Uman. Bah’s Uman4Uman makes reusable and affordable pads. Each pad lasts up to two years.

“In less than 48 hours, Vickie’s pad fundraiser sold out, and she was able to purchase our entire stock of 300 packs, 900 pads in total.”

Remoe said that she wanted to support Bah’s social enterprise and ease the burden of buying pads for girls in need.

“I get to see potential synergy on social media; people working in the same field who could maximize their impact if they collaborated, or people I could work with to do the same,” said Remoe.

“What’s the value of influence in a place like Sierra Leone if you can’t use it for social good. I keep my eye out for opportunities to support Sierra Leoneans trying to solve social issues so I can amplify their efforts.”

Remoe collected donations on her website and transferred 24 million leones ($2400) raised to purchased Uman4Uman’s entire stock of pads.

At the end of February, her Freetown-based team made the 3.5 hours journey to the Eastern Province. They delivered the pads to A Girl at A Time and their partners Wi Gial Pekin Dem Foundation and Wonders of Salone (Senava Project).

The gift from Remoe was timely as the three organizations had launched an online fundraiser to provide 500 girls with dignity kits.

“We found period poverty is the leading cause of absenteeism for girls aged 11-16 in our programs,” said Alimatu Dimonekene, founder, A Girl At A Time.

“After months of planning, we launched and advertised our crowdfunding page to provide 500 girls with dignity kits. Vickie saw that page and asked how she could help.”

Each dignity kit reusable menstrual pads, underwear,  personal hygiene items, and a booklet on how adolescent girls can seek help against harmful practices in their community.

Liz Kaima, the CEO and executive director of Wonders of Salone distributed the pads to three secondary schools during the first week of March. Kaima is a returnee and social worker from the UK who coaches girls on menstrual hygiene and offers them psychosocial support.

“At the Senava Center, we are very grateful for this amazing gift to our girls. The reusable pads that we received from this donation are more hygienic and easier to use than the “pieces” that girls and women in Hangha Village,” said Kaima.

A fundraiser to provide dignity kits for the girls in Hanga Village is still ongoing. There are 200 girls still in need.

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