Eight-year-old angel
Mother helps daughter in her quest to tackle period poverty
Renee Brown and her eight-year-old daughter Leanna smile proudly with a pack of sanitary napkins from their Mission 500 initiative which focuses on reducing period poverty. (Photo: Joseph Welllington)

AFTER learning about period poverty — the lack of access to sanitary products due to financial constraints — Renee Brown and her eight-year-old daughter Leanna started a quest to help females facing this challenge.

Through their initiative dubbed Mission 500 the two set a target to donate 500 packs of sanitary products to the needy. They quickly surpassed that amount by obtaining more than 1,000.

"We were listening to a programme on RJR radio and that's when we learned about the concept of period poverty, and we went to the site where Her Flow Foundation [was] doing the interview and we donated nine packs of pads that day. And then afterwards Leanna suggested that maybe we could try to help some other girls, and we thought of doing a drive to donate 500," said Brown.

"We started the campaign for more sanitary napkins on that day too and there was a collection span which lasted for about two weeks. It was all a part of Leanna's birthday plan," Brown added.

When asked about the initiative an overjoyed Leanna said, "I love working with my mommy. I feel great and I hope that a lot of people will get the pads I donated. I rather to give than to get because when you give, you get a lot of love."

Sharing the same sentiment Brown said she enjoys working with her daughter who has learned useful skills while embarking on the initiative.

"It has been empowering on a variety of levels. We were able to develop her social conscience as she is able to understand that a part of citizenship is giving to others who are less fortunate. It has also allowed us to do things that traditionally she would not have learnt at this age, such as doing things on an excel spreadsheet, doing calculations, writing letters, and mathematical concepts that children at her age are not exposed to," said Brown.

According to Brown, there has been great support for the initiative.

"We got donations of some samples from Curves and also Beauty Concepts that supported us by giving a special price. We were also able to get donations from friends and family from other countries such as USA, Canada, Bermuda, Vietnam. It was good how everybody rallied around to support the mission," she said.

She told the Observer that the donations will be distributed through Her Flow Foundation, mainly at inner-city and rural schools.

Brittny Hutchinson

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