From what started as a quiz night in 2015, Power Pad Girls has evolved and since then, the organisation has to date raised N$60 000 for acquiring reusable pads to young girls who are unable to afford sanitary pads.
This initiative led to Hildegard Titus (29) receiving the Commonwealth Point of Light 136 award after she was nominated by the British High Commission in Namibia. “I am extremely humbled and grateful for the recognition of the Power Pad Girls and the work we do,” Titus told Youth Corner.
“Initially, we just took donations of tampons or disposable pads but then when I found out about reusable pads through Sister Namibia’s SisterPads, we started getting donations for that instead,” she explained on how the idea came about.
Titus, a photojournalist, filmmaker, and curator by profession said reusable pads last longer and when taken good care of, they can last up to five years, compared to the disposable pads. She credits brave ladies who joined the initiative because the lack of pads has often been attributed to girls dropping out of school or staying away from school. The initial aim was to give out free reusable pads to learners who need them because they are eco-friendly and economically sustainable, therefore suggesting government to make reusable pads free and accessible to all.
The team chose pads because they are essential and a basic need, saying it is not fair that girls should miss school just because of a natural body function and because they or their parents cannot afford them. They said they also wanted to dispel myths and cultural taboos about menstruation because a lot of girls are still ostracised for menstruating.
A graduate with a BA Honours in Photojournalism and a Diploma in Media Studies, Titus is fond of educating the girl child. “We would go to schools and do menstruation workshops with them and show them how to care for the pads. We also answer any questions and try to dispel myths like one can’t get pregnant if you have never had a period or the idea that menstrual blood is dirty,” recalled Titus.
Power Pad Girls is involved with fundraising, giving workshops or trying to gather data about how girls were affected by period poverty. “We would use the skills that we all had to run the organisation, as well as our various networks and contacts to help drive the message about period poverty and try and encourage other people to help in their communities as well.
2020-05-06 09:03:07 | 3 months ago