There are quite a few issues, which prevent young girls from attending school. Some issues are preventable but others not so much. One of the most common non-preventable issues is the ordeal a female faces when she’s menstruating. For many female children in Africa not being able to report to school is very common once they are on their monthly cycle. Imagine missing school every month for 3-5 days? This is the reality for most. For others these days are not their days of agony but rather a day of comfort. A day they can move around with no worries. And so a gap has been created, the question now is who will bridge this gap? A gap, which makes it difficult for some girls to be happy since they don’t have access to the necessary materials during their period. Bernice Frimpong Ankrah has opted to bridge that imaginary gap and put smiles on the faces of girls and women in respective of where they find themselves.
Bernice is a designer by day, a wife, and mother with four kids. She is responsible for running her shop, Bags by Bernice, which produces dresses, bags and jewelries for her customers. For the past few years Bernice has been helping girls during their “days of discomfort” through the Days for Girls Foundation. She makes and supplies sanitary kits to girls and sometimes women in need for free. Since its inception 25 communities have benefitted from her goodwill initiative. Places like Akuapen North, some communities within Accra and in the Volta Region have all been visited and provided amounts of sanitary kits.
The sanitary kits she supplies to the girls and women each contain reusable sanitary pads unlike others on the market. The kits also consist of a moisture barrier shield, absorbent tri-fold pants, soaps and a face towel. The materials needed to produce these kits are sent to her from abroad and as a designer she puts her skills to good use by putting the materials together for distribution to the various girls and women in the communities. According to Bernice the focus is to help girls in less privilege communities who tend to use leaves, mattress, cornhusk during their periods. She emphasized that even though the sanitary pads are reusable they are hygienic and made of 100% cotton. In addition she teaches the girls about menstrual cycle and female reproductive health.
The Days for Girls Initiative has been replicated in 77 countries out of which 6 are in Africa. The initiative has been helping girls stay in school, whilst providing them with the necessary materials to weather the storm during the bloody days. The long-term goal is to extend the project to cover all of Ghana. Her advise to other social entrepreneur is this: “there will be challenges but never give up if the plan is to help society.” So from team threesixtyGh we say, Bernice Frimpong Ankfrah never give up and continue helping society. Be sure to visit Bags By Bernice in Osu and tell her we sent you *wink*