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Australian Volunteers Aid Efforts to Address Period Poverty in Bangladesh and Vietnam

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Good Neighbours Australia (GNAU) is collaborating with two Australian-based volunteer organisations to tackle period poverty in remote and regional parts of Bangladesh and Vietnam, reaching thousands of school students through our 2024 ‘Better Life for Girls’ menstrual health program.

Targeting rural communities facing extreme marginalisation, the program recognises that girls’ health, education, socio-economic well-being, dignity and human rights are fundamentally impacted through period poverty.

In Bangladesh, for example, 41% of girls are absent from school during their period and 86% are unable to change or dispose of menstrual products due to a lack of safe and private WASH facilities at school.

In response, community-based organisation Days for Girls Australia (DfGAL), will collaborate with GNAU to send up to 5,000 environmentally friendly washable menstrual kits (DfG Kits), while Wrap With Love Inc. will also supply up to 6,000 knitted blankets, generously created by Australian volunteers.

Joining forces with our Good Neighbours teams in Bangladesh and Vietnam, GNAU will be rolling out menstrual health education in rural and remote schools, ensuring access to safe and private sanitation facilities, clean water and waste disposal bins, so the girls won’t have to skip up to 50 days of school each year trying to manage their periods at home.

“If we help girls manage their menstrual cycles and also teach them about their reproductive rights, there’s a good chance they’ll be able to stay at school longer, leading to better long-term outcomes”, said GNAU Executive Director Sylvia Lee.

Mary Connelly-Gale, chief operating officer of DFGAL, said “We’re thrilled to collaborate with GNAU on their menstrual health management programs, providing our DfG Kits. No one should miss school or work due to their period because of a lack of access to menstrual products and safe changing facilities. This is a basic human right.”

“Wrap With Love is pleased to be working with GNAU and DFGAL, with our knitted and crocheted wraps lovingly made by volunteers and donated to those in need of warmth worldwide”, said Alexis Lander, Chair of Wrap With Love.

The ‘Better Life for Girls’ program will target rural schools in the northern Thakurgaon, Dinajpur and Nilphamary Districts of Bangladesh and in Vietnam, the program will be rolled out in the following provinces, Hoa Binh and Ha Giang.

Related: Good Neighbours Australia supports Ukrainian refugees marginalised from aid in Romania

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Third Sector provides high-level content and services for professional development and organisational growth to leaders and senior executives from Australia’s NFP sector and its supporting industries.


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