ISEE Solutions

Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

ISEE Solutions - Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

Report from Kassia Agboka

{note: We are VERY excited about this new venue for ISEE. Kassia reached out to us in late 2022 and we knew immediately that we wanted to work with her. Kassia’s passion for social issues is readily apparent and we are thrilled to present this post about our collaboration. Hopefully this is not the last time you’ll hear from her on this site! -ed}

Hello everyone!

My name is Kassia Agboka. I work with Project One Million, a non-governmental organization based in Ghana. Last November, I heard about Erika and ISEE Solutions through Niteo Africa, another organization working in Uganda. I was immediately drawn to the facet of their work that focused on fostering menstrual equity through the provision of reusable sanitary pads. A deep link was established on the understanding that there should be no barriers to education, especially an uncontrollable bodily function like one’s period. After getting connected, ISEE provided us with seventy-five (75) reusable pad kits to be distributed in Ghana, free of charge.

(The Project One Million Team. From left to right : Kiki Renée Appiah-Koranteng, David Jackson, Klenam Gyimarbi, Kassia Agboka, Mr. Claude Asmah, Steven Larkai, Mr. David) 
(The Project One Million Team. From left:, Steven Larkai, Klenam Gymarbi, Kiki-Renée Appiah- Koranteng, Millicent Agboka (Patron), Aritha Aryitey (Patron), Kassia Agboka, Michael Attafuah (Patron), Rosemond Egan (Patron), Eli Nunsenu (Patron))

To provide a little backstory, the conversation about fostering menstrual equity in  Ghana has been gaining traction in recent times. For many, hearing “imagine a world where menstrual products cost more than your hourly wage” would elicit a range of emotions from sorrow to anger. However, all across the world, this is a reality for many women and girls. A reality that many cannot envision contesting or protesting. I was excited to partner with ISEE to provide some form of relief to the young women of Diabene Senior Technical High School located in, my hometown, Takoradi in the Western Region of Ghana. 

On the 11th of January 2023, Project One Million in partnership with ISEE Solutions embarked on an outreach to the Diabene Senior Technical High School centred sexual health and hygiene. Mrs Panyin Swanzy-Essien, a senior nurse from the Kwesimintsim Hospital, gave a talk to this effect. She engaged the young women in a discussion in Fante, the local dialect, creating an air of familiarity and relatability. 

(Mrs. Panyin Swanzy-Essien giving an educational talk on reproductive health and hygiene)

This was followed by an interactive session where we all got to share our perspectives and opinions on our unending journies to financing our periods. Many girls shared their budgeting and waste-management tricks.

Afterwards, I introduced the young women to the reusable sanitary pads by demonstrating how the pads worked. They loved everything about the pads. It was reminiscent of “amonsin” or “bu3”, a red cloth traditionally used in Ghana as a sanitary pad but a version of that was better modified to suit modern-day concerns. It was lovely to see a familiar yet sustainable option provided at no cost.

Seeing the design of the pad and the innovation behind it, shattered some mental barriers by inspiring students, mainly those with an educational background in Home Science ( a secondary school program specializing in food and clothing making as well as other aspects of home management) to think outside the precut box of how period products are supposed to look. The kits were distributed after the session.

In addition, Project One Million set up a sanitary ‘pad bank’ in Diabene to make pads easily accessible.

In taking this step towards fostering menstrual equity, I know we are not alone. Different organizations and activists are speaking out to bring issues surrounding this cause to light, from championing the removal of taxes on menstrual products to expanding the range of menstrual products available. Having grown up in a time with so much secrecy surrounding periods, I am privileged to witness this change as it occurs. Our collective aim is to be able to amplify all voices on the spectrum of menstrual affordability. 

By each of our actions or inactions, we move further towards or away from the  goal of fostering menstrual equity. For a better future, let’s choose action and press forward until menstrual equity becomes our reality.

We work to pass the pen to others so they may write their own stories.

Special Acknowledgements to The ISEE Team, Diabene Technical High School, Madam Otilia Akabah, Mrs Panyin Swanzy-Essien, Madam Solace Quagraine and The One Million Team.

My sincerest appreciation goes out to all who contributed to making this possible in cash and kind.

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