P&G’s Always partners Mercy Corps on menstrual hygiene for school girls

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Educating Nigerian Girls in New Enterprises (ENGINE) II is a 3 and half year (April 2017 – September 2020) Adolescent Girls’ Education Programme funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through its Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) Fund. Mercy Corps leads the implementation of ENGINE II in Nigeria, along with Kindling Hope across Nations Initiative (KHAN) in Kaduna, Society for Women Development and Empowerment of Nigeria (SWODEN) in Kano, Action Health Incorporated (AHI) in Lagos, and Tabitha Cumi Foundation in the Federal Capital Territory on Friday, 26th July, 2019
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Procter and Gamble, makers of the leading Feminine Care brand, Always Sanitary Pads, recently held a close out ceremony for one of its Citizenship programs, the Always Keeping Girls in School (AKGIS) Programme, aimed at providing Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) training for girls and by extension reducing absenteeism in schools.

The ceremony was held at the Government Girls Secondary School, Dutse Alhaji, Abuja on Friday the 26th of July 2019 and had in attendance Hon. Soraya Hakuziyaremye, the Honorable Minister of Trade and Investment of the Federal Republic of Rwanda and Ms. Scholar Gbasha, Consultant to, Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu on Education Projects amongst a host of other top dignitaries and key stakeholders.

This significant intervention is targeted at enhancing girls’ knowledge and practice around reproductive health through life skills training, provision of emergency sanitary kits and mobilization of stakeholders’ support for Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) for girls in schools.

Director, Government Relations and Public Policy Africa at Procter & Gamble, Temitope Iluyemi in her opening remarks said: ‘Study reveals that girls’ confidence drop dramatically during puberty – and their first period is the time when their confidence is lowest. Always has made it a mission to empower young girls and women to live life without limits through various programs such as the Always Keeping Girls in School Program, to boost the confidence of young girls and inspire them to achieve their dreams.”

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Speaking on the successes and learnings from the program, Country Director of Mercy Corps said: “We are delighted to collaborate with Procter and Gamble on the Always Keeping Girls In School (AKGIS) Project, as part of our larger Educating Nigerian Girls In New Enterprises (ENGINE) II programme, which has led to increased knowledge of menstrual hygiene management among adolescent girls in the Federal Capital Territory, increased access to sanitary pads and WASH facilities for girls when in school, as well as improved counselling and psychosocial support for girls during menstruation.

These in turn have led to improved attendance of girls in school and positive behavior change among stakeholders towards improved learning outcomes for marginalized girls. We hope that the outcomes of this project will lead to more interventions to reach other adolescent girls and provide additional support for WASH facilities to facilitate girls’ attendance and completion in school.”

As part of its Citizenship efforts to be a force for good and growth, P&G recently announced a new commitment to educate more than 23 million adolescent girls on puberty and hygiene across the Indian Subcontinent, Middle East and Africa (IMEA) region.

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Since commencing operations in Nigeria in 1992, P&G has invested millions of dollars in investments including a manufacturing site located in Ibadan, Oyo State as well as a world class distribution center in Agbara, Ogun State respectively. Some of the project’s successes.

The intervention which commenced in April 2017 was able to reach over 2,000 girls in the Federal Capital Territory with distribution of over 8,700 free packs of sanitary pads and training of School Guidance Counsellors, girls and boys on Menstrual Hygiene Management.

AKGIS has also provided emergency sanitary receptacles in the 29 supported schools in the territory and renovation of Water Sanitation and Hygiene facilities in some of these schools.

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