In September, ODFL’s partner in Ivory Coast, Karat School Project, hosted a conference for teenage girls. The purpose was to encourage girls to stay in school. In Ivory Coast, only 2% of girls finish high school. This condemns them to a life short of their potential, leaving them as second class citizens.
ODFL supported the conference by funding one of its Girls’ Equality Project kits for each of the 300 girls in attendance. The kits help girls manage their periods, allowing them to not miss a week of school each month. Menstrual issues are one of the main reasons cited by Ivory Coast health authorities for why girls drop out of school early.
It is not only an issue in Ivory Coast. UNICEF estimates that as many as 20,000,000 girls drop out of school every year because they cannot manage menstrual flows. This is a sobering number, but in a positive way. It means that it is actually within reach to materially improve the human condition by seeing that 20,000,000 girls finish school every year.