Best Ideas 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
HERZ- Her Empowerment Race Zone
Explain your idea in details:
Did you know that more than 2 billion women in the world menstruate? According to the Association of Reproductive Health Care Professionals, people who menstruate will have, on average, 450 periods over their lifetime, from their first period to the beginning of menopause. Unfortunately, many of these women, especially from developing countries, struggle to afford even the most basic sanitary wear to manage their menstruation, and such a situation is known as period poverty. The period poverty problem introduces HERZ Movement (Her Empowerment Race Zone) into developing economies such as Zambia, in which admitted college female students work as life coaches to help high school girls discover their talents and use them to make a difference. The Zambian girls will make care packages for pregnant women in hospitals, make reusable sanitary products for high school girls, and convene an annual summit for networking with female public figures. With donations of reusable towels from hotels and some investment for sewing machines, the business will become self-sustainable by selling the care products to the targeted mothers and girls. Overall, Her Empowerment Race Zone is a movement for girls that encompasses Mentorship, Volunteerism, Scholarship and Innovation to eradicate period poverty.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
HERZ aims at tackling period poverty by equipping high school girls with the tools needed to make reusable sanitary pads. Most adolescent girls lack the skills to make reusable sanitary pads, and basic knowledge of what is happening to their bodies during menstruation. In fact, talking about menstruation in some cultures is a taboo, other cultures segregate menstruating women from society, and often times girls skip classes for over a week whenever they are on their period. Moreover, an article from Bristle shows that over 45 billion disposable sanitary wear is produced annually and has a negative impact on the environment. Therefore, HERZ hopes to see a world in which sanitary wear is viewed as a basic human right and not as a privilege reserved only for the elite. HERZ wishes to see more girls making reusable sanitary pads, going to class every day, and confidently participating in the political, social and economic well-being of their countries. HERZ calls for open dialogues about menstruation to reduce its stigma, and recognition that disposable sanitary pads are polluting the earth.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
As a non-profit organization HERZ will utilize admitted college female students and community volunteers. These volunteers will work as life coaches to help high school girls discover their talents and use them to make a difference in their communities. The HERZ volunteer ambassadors will make care packages for pregnant women in hospitals, make reusable sanitary products for high school girls, and convene an annual summit for networking with female public figures. With donations of reusable towels from hotels and some investment for sewing machines, the business will become self-sustainable by selling the care products to the targeted mothers and girls. All in all, HERZ will utilize a business model in which when one reusable sanitary pad is sold, another will be donated to a girl in need.
Natasha Sichula Im a stellar 20-year old female Zambian student pursing a bachelors degree in Cytotechnology at Edgewood College. Im passionate about women empowerment and overall good health, and as a result, I aspire to become an Obstetrician/Gynecologist. My desire to become a doctor started while I was in high school and regularly volunteered to care for orphans suffering from HIV to Autism at Kavu orphanage. I also volunteered to clean houses for the elderly around Kavu community and the surroundings of Kavu General Hospital in Zambia. In 2017, I was inaugurated as Miss Zambia USA, and I have used my platform for various humanitarian purposes. For instance, in November 2018 I organized an online fundraiser in which funds were raised to purchase and donate 2145 disposable baby diapers at UTH. In addition, Im Clinton Fellow who attended the 2018 Clinton Global University Initiative to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges with more than 1000 university representatives, topic experts, and celebrities. Aside from this, I recently won Edgewood Colleges perfect pitch competition, and was invited to attend the Next Gen 2019 Summit in New York where Ill be pitching about Period Poverty. My passion for period poverty started when my menstruation suddenly stopped at 12 years old and only resumed when I was 15. When this happened, my nurse explained that a change in environment or diet may have triggered my menstruation cycle. Thus, I did some research on menstruation and learned about the stigma, misconceptions, and overpriced cost associated to it. In fact, one day when I had no money to purchase sanitary wear, I remember wrapping a sock around my underwear to stop the bleeding. From that day onward, I have dedicated my time to lifelong learning about opportunities available to empower girls against period poverty.