Research: Demand for CSR among Millennials

Square Toiletries and JCI Dhaka Sparks launches KushumKotha: Breaking Out Of Period Poverty

JCI Dhaka Sparks launched the first intervention of its social awareness project- "KushumKotha: Breaking Out Of Period Poverty" with the theme of Shothik Tothyo Jani, Kushongkar Bhangi (Let's break stereotypes with right information) at Ahsania Mission Mohila Orphanage in collaboration with Square Toiletries, targeting over 70 orphan girls and educating them on menstrual hygiene and appropriate sanitation.

The intervention also discussed with the authorities and management at the orphanage to roll out sustainable hygiene solutions moving away from unsanitary practices, reads a press release.

The first intervention was presided over by Local President Shahmina Isha Mannan and coordinated by Fazana Sultana Mow, CoC of the Project. Suamaya Mahmud Co-COC of “KushumKotha” and Sigma Haider, director in charge and vice president of JCI Dhaka Sparks also facilitated the arrangements. 

As Guest of Honour, Dr Nurullah Awal, health advisor of WaterAid Bangladesh joined the program and made valuable remarks to the targeted orphan children. 

As guest speakers, Masuma Billah, program head of Gender, Justice and Diversity at Brac, Dr Sayada Sanjidara Nupur, obstetrics, gynaecology specialist at Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Memorial KPJ Specialized Hospital and M Bozlur Rahman Asad from UAE Embassy of Bangladesh made valuable contributions and assured of their commitment to the cause of the project.

Access to affordable menstruation products is a basic human right although, in the current socio-economic circumstance, it continues to be a privilege. 

In Bangladesh, poverty and social taboos force half of the adolescent girls and 64% of the women to use unhygienic old rags to manage their menstruation. Here, poverty comes with illnesses, school absenteeism, and social injustice. 

Despite several initiatives, “low-quality sanitary materials, the social culture related to menstruation hygiene management, inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene (wash) facilities, and lack of guidance and privacy for changing and washing at school or home are common issues related to inadequate menstrual hygiene practices.” 

Engagement and linkage with the business industries involved in the production of hygiene products are also absent. 

Recognizing the social taboo and the limitations prevalent today despite consistent efforts in the past two decades, JCI Dhaka Sparks through its project KushumKotha for the next three years will address the challenges of period poverty through strategic interventions and appropriate collaborations to include under-developed rural communities, orphanages, madrasas and ethnic minorities in areas of influence. 

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