P&G FemCare brands announce joint program to provide school-based support and feminine hygiene products to girls in Southern Africa through HERO: A
NEW YORK, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Girls living in sub-Saharan Africa can miss up to four days of school each month because they lack the basic necessity of sanitary protection and other resources to manage their periods. To help give girls in this part of the world a better chance at an education and to raise awareness of this issue, P&G brands Always and Tampax are joining forces with HERO, an awareness building and fundraising initiative of the United Nations Association to launch the Protecting Futures program.
According to research, 1 in 10 school-age African girls do not attend school during menstruation or drop out at puberty because of the lack of clean and private sanitation facilities in schools.(1) And, if a girl has no access to protective materials or if the materials she has are unreliable and cause embarrassment, she may be forced to stay at home while menstruating. This absence of approximately 4 days every 4 weeks may result in the girl missing 10 to 20 percent of her school days.(2) The Protecting Futures program will provide products and services to help keep girls in school as well as help foster the overall health and well-being of every child in the targeted school communities.
"Working with HERO, the Protecting Futures program brings together the brands' global resources to help make a positive impact on these young girls by improving access to feminine hygiene products as well as education and health services," said Michelle Vaeth, Protecting Futures Program Director for P&G. "Through this program, Tampax and Always will help build an infrastructure that - with support from local and national governments - can give children in these communities the chance to reach their full potential."
"Protecting Futures is making a positive and direct impact in the lives of children living in HIV/AIDS-affected communities in sub-Saharan Africa. This program also helps support two of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals - promoting gender equity and ensuring that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling," said Gabrielle Armand, Executive Director of Communications and Marketing for the United Nations Association of the USA. The UNA-USA's HERO Campaign provides comprehensive school-based support to children living in HIV/AIDS-affected communities in Southern Africa.
Protecting Futures, a ground-breaking five-year commitment was born out of a pilot program Always launched in Kenya two years ago through a partnership with the Girl Child Network (GCN) and is a part of P&G corporate cause, Live, Learn, and Thrive which has helped over 50 million children in need.
Protecting Futures is a comprehensive care program which will bring puberty education, traveling health educators, nutritious feeding programs, educational support services, a pad distribution program, and significant construction projects to nine schools in the first year.
-- Launched this year in Namibia, Protecting Futures is providing over
200 children with improved access to education by building and
outfitting classrooms, dormitories, kitchens, and toilets, at two
school sites. The program will also fund teacher training, uniforms
for all students, and a year-round feeding program.
-- Protecting Futures is also dramatically improving the sanitation,
health and hygiene for the community in this region by building a
four-kilometer-long water pipeline to 2 schools in this region. In
addition to providing direct access to clean water at these schools
for all children and teachers, this project allows girls to remain in
class all day without having to walk long distances to obtain water
for their fellow students
-- This Winter 2007/2008 support will expand to HERO schools in the
KwaZulu Natal region of South Africa where Protecting Futures will
provide sanitary protection to young girls at nine regional schools to
help them overcome the obstacle of attending school during
menstruation. These girls will also benefit from an Always funded
Health, Hygiene, and Puberty education program taught by a traveling
health educator. In addition, Protecting Futures will fund a traveling
health care provider for all of the children at these schools.
-- In addition, Tampax and Always help sponsor the HERO Youth Ambassador
program through their teen-focused website, Beinggirl.com. Twenty-four
teens from across the U.S.A. were selected to become Youth Ambassadors
and traveled to Namibia and South Africa this summer to work on the
Protecting Futures program. Their personal experiences were
documented in a series of webisodes airing on beinggirl.com/hero to
help encourage and empower all teens to become global citizens.
In support of Protecting Futures, Tampax and Always will launch a dedicated advertising, in-store and online campaign in the US and Canada beginning this Fall 2007.
"There are lots of reasons kids miss school," said Ms. Vaeth. "Being a girl shouldn't be one of them."
For more information on the Protecting Futures program and ways to be involved and help make a difference too, visit http://www.ProtectingFutures.com.
About P&G (NYSE: PG)
Three billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world. The company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Pampers(R), Tide(R), Ariel(R), Always(R), Whisper(R), Tampax(R), Pantene(R), Mach3(R). Bounty(R), Dawn(R), Pringles(R), Folgers(R), Charmin(R), Downy(R), Lenor(R), Iams(R), Crest(R), Oral-B(R), Actonel(R), Duracell(R), Olay(R), Head & Shoulders(R), Wella, Gillette(R), and Braun. The P&G community consists of almost 140,000 employees working in over 80 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.
About The United Nations Association:
The United Nations Association of the United States of America is a not- for-profit membership organization dedicated to building understanding of and support for the ideals and vital work of the United Nations among the American people. Its educational and humanitarian campaigns, including teaching students in urban schools, clearing minefields and providing school-based support for children living in HIV/AIDS-affected communities in Africa, allow people to make a global impact at the local level.
About HERO: A UNA-USA Campaign:
HERO: A UNA-USA campaign (http://www.heroaction.org), in partnership with USAID (http://www.usaid.gov), is an awareness building and fundraising initiative dedicated to providing comprehensive, school-based support to orphans and vulnerable children living in HIV/AIDS-affected communities in Africa. HERO, along with its in-country partners, works with schools in Namibia, South Africa, Ethiopia and Zambia to provide each school with a comprehensive "HERO Package" that includes feeding programs, classrooms (repair and construction), toilets, clean water, visiting nurses, counselors, books and other school resources.
(1) UNICEF, 2005
(2) World Bank 2005
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