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Thousands of sanitary pads delivered to adolescent girls in need

October 21, 2020 | 07:19

World Vision Vietnam just delivered more than 326,000 Whisper sanitary pads, worth some USD 280,000, to over 16,000 adolescent girls in need in Central Vietnam.

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Over 320,000 sanitary packets delivered to 16,000 adolescent girls in need
World Vision Vietnam and Whisper re-emphasize menstrual education and the importance of good hygiene and sanitation practices for adolescent girls. Photo courtesy of World Vision Vietnam

To celebrate Vietnamese Women’s Day (October 20), World Vision Vietnam joined hands with P&G’s feminine care brand, Whisper to launch a “Buy One – Donate One” campaign, which aims to ensure menstrual hygiene for over 16,000 disadvantaged adolescent girls in Quang Tri, Quang Nam, and Quang Ngai provinces, where World Vision Vietnam is supporting eight Area Programs.

Accordingly, consumers can contribute to support underprivileged girls by purchasing Whisper products (starting from VND 20,000) in Saigon Co.opmart and Lotte supermarket system. Each Whisper packet sold from 20 October to 31 December 2020 will be converted to the corresponding amount of sanitary pads to support underprivileged adolescent girls in World Vision Vietnam’s project areas.

More than 326,000 packets of Whisper sanitary pads are expected to be donated and the total value of this in-kind donation from P&G is estimated at over USD 280,000.

Along with the distribution of sanitary pads, World Vision Vietnam and Whisper take this occasion to re-emphasize menstrual education and the importance of keeping hygiene practices for adolescent girls.

Girls will be equipped with accurate knowledge about menstruation and menstrual health and hygiene, including skills to manage their menstruation safely with proper diet, moderate exercise, and appropriate use of materials and facilities as part of on-going Area Program activities.

Over 320,000 sanitary packets delivered to 16,000 adolescent girls in need
Disadvantaged adolescent girls wait to receive sanitary pads in Phuoc Son District, Quang Nam Province in October. Photo courtesy of World Vision Vietnam

Maintaining menstrual hygiene is still a challenge for women and girls in many parts of the world.

Schools without running water or private latrines make it difficult to manage “that time of month” with dignity, especially when supplies like feminine pads are out of reach.

Many girls and women cannot afford sanitary pads, so they use unhygienic alternatives. This puts them at greater risk of infection during their periods.

Cultural taboos also impose a sense of shame and prevent girls from asking questions. It’s not surprising when they choose to save themselves the embarrassment and discomfort by staying home. Unfortunately, staying home often leads to dropping out altogether.

According to the World Bank, at least 500 million women and girls globally lack adequate facilities for menstrual hygiene management and studies also show that girls’ inability to properly manage their menstrual hygiene results in school absenteeism and a low sense of self-worth.

Vietnam’s working areas also see a similar issue. Up to 30 per cent of women and girls can’t take basic hygiene measures during their menstruation because they can’t afford to use more than 1-2 sanitation pads per day. Ten per cent of them have to rely on makeshift pads made from mosquito nets due to their family’s extreme economic challenges.

World Vision Vietnam’s Operations Director Than Thi Ha said, “World Vision Vietnam believes that encouraging young girls to properly use sanitary pads is not simply a solution for a sanitation matter. It is an essential step for young girls to preserve their dignity and body integrity, ensure consistent school attendance, thus embrace their life’s full potential.”

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