MANY girls and women complain about some discomfort during their menstrual cycles, yet it is not this pain that causes trepidation in some teen girls, forcing them to forego school. It is, instead, the inability to afford sufficient sanitary products for use during their cycles.
Shelly-Ann Weeks, author and founder, HerFlow Foundation, which has a primary focus on female reproductive health, estimates that approximately 70,000 girls cannot afford feminine products — also known as “period poverty” — so they use discarded fabric, paper towels and some even resort to reusing sanitary napkins.
It is against this background that Weeks invited corporate companies to participate in and support the HerFlow Foundation's End Period Poverty JA initiative. JMMB Group is one such corporate company that answered the call, to help address the stigma associated with menstruation, and assist girls who may be affected by period poverty — that is, the lack of access to sanitary products due to financial constraints. In response to this need, JMMB, with the support of its team and clients, donated hundreds of feminine products including sanitary napkins, tampons, tissue and sanitary wipes to this initiative.
JMMB Group's chief marketing officer Kerry-Ann Stimpson outlined that the company was pleased to come on board in support of the initiative by donating feminine products and providing financial backing to several public education events held.
“We recognise that by joining forces with organisations such as this foundation, we can impact so many lives and assist young women to realise their greatness by reducing absenteeism from school, and promoting academic excellence and self-confidence among these girls,” she said.
The feminine products have been distributed across 24 schools in five parishes, as part of a school tour organised by the HerFlow Foundation. Weeks indicated that the majority of the donated products have been distributed to rural and inner-city schools, as there is a greater need in those areas.
The HerFlow initiative is ongoing, as it seeks to eradicate period poverty by providing feminine products to Jamaican girls and women who may have financial constraints.
“We are very happy for the assistance of JMMB Group on this phase of the #EndPeriodPovertyJA Campaign. Period poverty is a real issue faced by thousands of Jamaican women and girls. HerFlow Foundation is committed to eradicating this issue, especially in schools. A girl should not have to choose between her period and her education,” said Weeks.