FINALIST: Empowering Girls: A Sustainable Approach To Eradicating Period Poverty

In 2014, the founder of Move Africa, driven by a passion for socio-economic development, embarked on a journey to improve education quality for children in South Africa. As a TEACH SA ambassador, Lesego Mpyana encountered period poverty and took the initiative to organise sanitary pad drives. This marked the beginning of her mission to eradicate period poverty through sustainable means.

Teaming up with her husband, they established a corporate social responsibility management company in KwaZulu-Natal. Over the past four years, Move Africa has collaborated with notable organisations such as Standard Bank, Continental Tyres, Clarins, Crown National and Mancosa. Their business model involves corporates investing in menstrual cups and reusable pads, while Move Africa trains and hires facilitators to implement comprehensive programmes in schools.

Operating in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Botswana, Move Africa believes in cross-collaboration to reach more women and girls across the African continent. Their sustainable period packs include menstrual cups lasting up to 10 years and reusable pads lasting up to five years. The workshops cover menstruation basics, cycle tracking and reproductive health education.

The core mission is clear: to empower girls and women by eradicating period poverty through sustainable means. Recognising the critical impact on education, one of their campaigns focuses on championing women and addressing menstrual needs. In South Africa, 3 in 10 girls miss school due to a lack of menstrual products, highlighting the urgency of this initiative.

Move Africa’s efforts align with over 50% of the UN’s sustainable development goals, including access to education, good health, climate action, economic growth, reduction of inequalities, job creation, gender equality, and responsible consumption and production. The ripple effects of education are emphasised, showcasing the potential to double Africa’s economies over the past 30 years if women had equal access to education and employment opportunities.

Since the campaign’s inception, Move Africa has distributed over 50,000 menstrual cups, providing employment opportunities for women in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Swaziland. The focus on menstrual cups and reusable pads arises from their economic, environmental, and health benefits, promoting a sustainable solution to period poverty. The long-lasting and eco-friendly nature of these products contributes to mitigating the climate change crisis and fostering a healthier, more empowered future for women and girls in Africa.

Corporate Social Responsibility News (CSRNEWS) is South Africa’s leading Corporate Social Responsibility news, media and publishing firm. We create content on social responsibility, helping government, corporates, consultants, NPOs and NGOs to reach their target markets through appropriate, targeted development news.

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