FQM Trident limited through its Trident Foundation limited has donated sanitary towels worth K49, 000 to 210 girls at Jiwundu secondary school in Kalumbila district of North-Western Province.
FQM Trident Community Affairs Manager, Joseph Ngwira said education support is one of his firms’ key areas of support and strongly believes in its ability to empower and liberate the mind thereby, giving individuals an opportunity to live dignified lives.
Mr Ngwira also said no girl should miss a period of class just because she is having one.
He said this in a speech read on his behalf by FQM Trident Public Relations Coordinator, Mirriam Harmon during a launch of the Educating and Developing Girls Education (EDGE) program in Kalumbila today.
“Through the launch of EDGE, we will complement efforts by the government and promote the interest of less privileged girls in our community. We are taking the wellbeing of the vulnerable girl child seriously so that they attain education in order to improve their lives,” Mr Ngwira said.
He said the EGDE initiative will equip girls with an all-round education which will help them serve as agents of change in their local environments as well as help them to improve the status of their families and communities.
“Through the EDGE programme, girls will also have the opportunities to access quality education, thereby meeting some of our core objectives regarding student support,” Mr Ngwira said.
He said the donation under EDGE initiative of sanitary pads is valued at K 49,000 and would be given to all the 210 girls at this school, adding that the pads would be enough for the whole term and that a more sustainable initiative of promoting reusable sanitary towels is underway which will benefit about 4,000 girls in the community.
“Through this initiative, Trident Foundation would like to see a reduction in absenteeism which is caused by menses, reduction in school dropout and also to see the girls outperform the boys,” Mr Ngwira said.
And speaking at the same event, Kalumbila District Commissioner, Brenda Sankisa said the EDGE programme is an intervention that will keep the girl child in school and must be commended and given the necessary support.
“The donation of sanitary towels at the school could not have come at a better time than now when the world is calling out to all partners to make menstruation a normal fact of life by 2030,” Ms Sankisa said.
She said it is sad to see girls still struggling to access menstrual products and being stigmatised over a situation that is natural, have little or no access to proper standards of hygiene and further still miss school because of the same.
“Furthermore I find this launch to be targeted at the general public to raise awareness and demand action because we believe that it is not an individual girl problem but a societal matter where we need to equip and empower our youths especially the vulnerable and marginalised in our rural settings like girls,” Ms Sankisa said.
She said the launch of EDGE will surely help to de-stigmatise the issue and assist girls to break their silence on other sexual and reproductive health issues.
“We would also like to encourage our partners in the private sector to emulate FQM Trident and join us in our quest to make a difference in the lives of young girls and women who are deprived and cannot afford sanitary towels,” Ms Sankisa added.
Meanwhile, Jiwundu Head teacher, Kennedy Minganja appreciated FQM Trident for the gesture, saying it will go a long way in assisting the vulnerable and less privileged girls at the school.
Taonga Bwalya, a pupil at the school commended FQM for launching EDGE.
“We are indeed grateful for your efforts and contributions and most especially the launching of the programme to support girl child education, therefore, we would like to assure you that all your contributions will be valued and put to good use,” she said.