Prior to conducting the event, Steve was kind enough to give me an interview. He started with the U.S. Peace Corp in 2005, first serving in Burkina Faso. In 2007, he transferred to Ethiopia. He had been in Liberia since September 2019. [Note: the Covid-19 pandemic necessitated his return to the United States. He continues to work with his partners in Liberia through teleconferencing.]
Menstrual hygiene is one of core areas that Peace Corps/Liberia is working on to make sure that girls have all of the knowledge, the skills, and the attitudes necessary to keep them in school. One of the reasons why girls drop out of school is that they do not have proper menstrual hygiene products.
Peace Corps Liberia partners with a number of organizations, such as Dignity:Liberia, which helps them achieve their goals. They want to give girls a sense of dignity so they can stay in school and don’t have to drop out of class for 3 to 5 days a month because they’re having their periods.
Steve worked with Girl Up Clubs and the Big Sisters Program to get the word out about the distribution we held. These organizations had previously gone through the menstrual hygiene awareness activities and there was some built-up demand for the menstrual cup distribution because of that.
We are grateful to Steve and the Peace Corps for working with us. As he said, when girls stay in school, the whole country benefits.