NEW YORK, Nov. 12 Girls living in sub-SaharanAfrica can miss up to four days of school each month because they lack thebasic necessity of sanitary protection and other resources to manage theirperiods. To help give girls in this part of the world a better chance at aneducation and to raise awareness of this issue, P&G brands Always and Tampaxare joining forces with HERO, an awareness building and fundraising initiativeof the United Nations Association to launch the Protecting Futures program.
According to research, 1 in 10 school-age African girls do not attendschool during menstruation or drop out at puberty because of the lack of cleanand private sanitation facilities in schools.(1) And, if a girl has no accessto protective materials or if the materials she has are unreliable and causeembarrassment, she may be forced to stay at home while menstruating. Thisabsence of approximately 4 days every 4 weeks may result in the girl missing10 to 20 percent of her school days.(2) The Protecting Futures program willprovide products and services to help keep girls in school as well as helpfoster the overall health and well-being of every child in the targeted schoolcommunities.
"Working with HERO, the Protecting Futures program brings together thebrands' global resources to help make a positive impact on these young girlsby improving access to feminine hygiene products as well as education andhealth services," said Michelle Vaeth, Protecting Futures Program Director forP&G. "Through this program, Tampax and Always will help build aninfrastructure that - with support from local and national governments - cangive children in these communities the chance to reach their full potential."
"Protecting Futures is making a positive and direct impact in the lives ofchildren living in HIV/AIDS-affected communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Thisprogram also helps support two of the United Nations Millennium DevelopmentGoals - promoting gender equity and ensuring that all boys and girls completea full course of primary schooling," said Gabrielle Armand, Executive Directorof Communications and Marketing for the United Nations Association of the USA.The UNA-USA's HERO Campaign provides comprehensive school-based support tochildren living in HIV/AIDS-affected communities in Southern Africa.
Protecting Futures, a ground-breaking five-year commitment was born out ofa pilot program Always launched in Kenya two years ago through a partnershipwith 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 bringpuberty education, traveling health educators, nutritious feeding programs,educational support services, a pad distribution program, and significantconstruction projects to nine schools in the first year.
In support of Protecting Futures, Tampax and Always will launch adedicated advertising, in-store and online campaign in the US and Canadabeginning this Fall 2007.
"There are lots of reasons kids miss school," said Ms. Vaeth. "Being agirl shouldn't be one of them."
For more information on the Protecting Futures program and ways to beinvolved and help make a difference too, visit www.ProtectingFutures.com.
About P&G (NYSE: PG)
Three billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around theworld. 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), andBraun. The P&G community consists of almost 140,000 employees working in over80 countries worldwide. P