Each month a minimum of 500 million females across the globe experience period poverty, according to borgenproject.com. As an adhesives company with disposable hygiene customers who manufacture products for the feminine care market, we at Bostik are quite familiar with period poverty and understand the negative effect it has on maturing girls and women.
For Maydred Siamuzwe, an accountant on our team in Staffordshire, UK, the issue was deeply personal. Growing up near Lusaka, Zambia, she witnessed the struggle of period poverty first-hand.
“I had relatives who would stay home during their period and not go to school,” Siamuzwe said. “When girls miss five days of school a month, they fall behind. So many drop out.”
This inspired Siamuzwe to ask her Bostik colleagues to help the girls in her hometown. She put a donation box in her office’s cafeteria, hoping to gather packets of feminine hygiene products for those in need and deliver the items to a small charity-run school for girls when she visited her family.
“Many girls in Zambia are so poor they cannot afford even the basics in feminine hygiene,” Siamuzwe explained. “They are vibrant and enthusiastic pupils, but they are missing classes simply because they cannot afford sanitary towels, and the fear of staining their clothes is keeping them away.”
Her plan was enthusiastically received, and the box quickly filled with donations. But it didn’t stop there! Siamuzwe’s co-workers encouraged her to think even bigger. They knew her project was in perfect alignment with Bostik’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, and our management was more than happy to get involved. With this in mind, our team reached out to connections within our global network so that Siamuzwe’s efforts could have a wider reach.
Bostik connects with a feminine hygiene customer for big results
Martin Langley, a regional director for our global hygiene adhesives business unit, soon joined in the collection outreach. He shared the story of Siamuzwe’s efforts with Ontex, an international producer of personal hygiene products, with the hope that a few boxes would be donated.
The result was generosity beyond what anyone involved could imagine! Ultimately, two shipping containers, each filled with 507,000 packets of feminine hygiene products (more than one million packets total), were donated by our customer.
Meeting her feminine care needs with the right products
Based on our experience and driven by our dedication to corporate social responsibility, our team at Bostik went beyond simply collecting and shipping products. We used our combined global insight and company strengths to maximise these joint efforts.
First, our customer looked at which product preferences would be best suited to this region of the world. Next, they took the necessary steps to ensure the right products were available and began setting them aside.
Then, Bostik used our global supply chain network, paid the shipping costs, and ensured the products would be delivered to where they needed to go.
Siamuzwe said, “I am so very grateful for my colleagues who have made this happen, and I know the girls who have received the packets are grateful as well.”
Learn more about Bostik’s approach to Corporate Social Responsibility.