For the fourth consecutive year, Always said it will continue its outreach efforts by providing thousands of girls across Jamaica with sanitary pads to help improve access and meet their monthly needs.

“This year our aim is to donate over 200,000 sanitary pads to 14 schools (one in each parish) as we continue to face the harsh realities of the COVID-19 pandemic which exacerbated conditions like unemployment and high food prices,” said a release about the programme.

“As a result, period products are usually not at the top of the priority list in many households. For teenage girls especially, not having period protection can affect her mental well-being impacting school attendance, academic results and social activities like sports and clubs.

“In some instances, many girls end up missing up to one year of school throughout their school life, which limits their potential to excel far beyond puberty,” the release stated.

The Always #EndPeriodPoverty campaign was officially launched on Monday, March 21 and will run until Monday, June 20. During this time, consumers have the opportunity to get involved with the initiative. Every Always purchase triggers a donation. For every pack of Always pads purchased, Always will in turn directly donate to a girl in need.

NGO HerFlow Foundation will once again partner with Always to assist with the distribution of the 200,000 plus pads. The NGO will assist in ensuring the donation of Always pads are distributed to the young girls at the schools.

As part of the campaign, a host of social media influencers will be engaged to help increase awareness and educate on the issue.

According to the press release, some of this year’s influencers are Yendi Phillips, Natoya Goule, Mekelia Green, Sanneta Myrie and Kalilah Reynolds.

Tamara Thompson, general manager of Consumer Brands Limited — the local distributor of Always — said:

“It is distressing to know that some girls have to turn to unsafe alternatives like toilet paper, rags, and newspaper to manage their periods and then end up missing out on school and classes.

“Lack of access to period products should never stand in the way of a girl and her education. Always remains committed to ensuring that all girls are able to confidently go to school. We will continue to take action to help #EndPeriodPoverty. Together, let’s dismantle the stigmas around menstruation and help our girls realise their full potential.”