Access Forex Donates Sanitary Wear through Feed a Million Initiative

Access Forex has committed to join the fight against period poverty, by donating 500 menstrual cups and 500 pads in hampers that have been distributed as part of the Feed a Million initiative. The organization, which provides remittance services for Zimbabweans in the UK and South Africa, strives to make a tangible impact on the communities in which it operates. As such, Access Forex has committed a seed of USD 200 000, towards a target fund of USD 1 million, to go towards child-headed homes, orphans and the elderly.

In Zimbabwe, the girl child in vulnerable communities fails to access Sanitary wear due to the high cost of sanitary wear and this leads to many young girls turning to unsafe alternatives. The government has also recognized the need to fight against period poverty, and taxes on menstrual products have been suspended since the 2017 budget. The use of menstrual cups has many benefits. They are medically safe and reusable for years, making them a cheaper and environmentally-friendly option. Menstrual cups are convenient to use, can be worn during all activities including sleeping and exercising, and they do not leak when used correctly. All these factors mean that one menstrual cup can make a positive impact on a girl or a woman’s life for several years.

Dr. George Chirwa, Director of Access Forex, shared the importance of providing menstrual cups alongside the UN-recommended food staples included in the hampers. “Vulnerable girls and women in our communities are further marginalized by period poverty, as they are unable to access menstrual hygiene tools and educations. By providing access to menstrual products, we are playing our part to help dismantle the hurdles that vulnerable girls and women face,” he stated. COVID-19, the subsequent lockdown and the impact on our local economy have impacted access to income, further exacerbating conditions for those already living in poverty. Access Forex will roll out the initiative first in Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls before spreading out to provide food aid and sanitary products across the country.

The Feed a Million initiative is rolling out in partnership with Caritas Zimbabwe, an organization whose mandate includes integral human development, emergency relief, advocacy, peacebuilding, respect for human rights and support for proper stewardship of the planet’s environment and resources. Caritas Zimbabwe will not only distribute the menstrual cups but will also educate each recipient on the safe and proper use of the product. Marius Zibgwi, National Co-ordinator of Caritas Zimbabwe, also emphasized the importance of including the distribution of sanitary products as part of the initiative. “There are many issues that intersect to contribute to poverty. We seek to address hunger and poverty through our work, and this strong partnership with Access Forex will help us to work towards dismantling period poverty. By addressing access to sanitary products, we begin to address issues affecting girls’ and women’s participation in education and society as a whole,” he stated.

In this time of national crisis, Access Forex continues to challenge other corporates to join the fight to assist marginalized and vulnerable members of our communities. By collaborating with Access Forex and donating towards the USD1 million goal, local companies play their part in solving local challenges that face the country. The goal to #FeedAMillion is expected to grow beyond the COVID-19 crisis, and Access Forex will continue to implement initiatives to uplift Zimbabweans.

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Access Forex and Caritas Zimbabwe Join Hands to Feed a Million

Access Forex, an organisation providing remittance services for Zimbabweans in the UK and South Africa, has partnered with Caritas Zimbabwe as it rolls out its Feed a Million food aid initiative.
Founded in 1972 as the Commission for Social Services and Development (C.S.S.D), the agency is now known as Caritas Zimbabwe to identify itself with other Catholic charitable agencies throughout the whole world under Caritas Internationalis (CI) network of 162 Catholic relief aid, development and social service organisations working to build a better world, especially for the poor and oppressed. It operates under the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC.)

The initiative comes at a time of great need, as a slowing economy, COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown are impacting the country. Access Forex has committed a seed of USD200,000 towards a target fund of USD 1 million, and has created hampers containing UN-recommended food staples as well as sanitary products. Donations will begin in Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls before rolling out in the rest of Zimbabwe.

Feed a Million donations will take place in line with government directives pertaining to COVID-19. Social distancing will be strictly adhered to in line with World Health Organisation, and a maximum of 50 people will be served at a time. For the additional safety of recipients, a medical officer will be present at each distribution site.

Dr George Chirwa, the Executive Director for Access Forex shared that Access Forex is making good progress towards its goal to #FeedAMillion. “Our initial distribution in Mbare and Epworth went extremely well and over the course of next week we will be in Bulawayo Mpopoma and Makokoba then we move to Chidobe in Victoria Falls.” he stated.

Marius Zibgwi, National Co-ordinator of Caritas Zimbabwe, also shared his vision for the impact for the Feed a Million initiative. “Access Forex is the first corporate to partner with us in this way. Our work is aiding those who are suffering from poverty and hunger, and this initiative will help us reach more people across the country. We hope that other corporates will also join in the effort to assist the most marginalised members of our communities.” he said.

Vulnerable people will be assisted through the Feed a Million Challenge, including child-headed homes, orphans and the elderly. As part of the initial donation, 2 500 individuals will receive hampers. Access Forex expects the Feed a Million initiative to grow into the future and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The organisation believes strong partnerships by local businesses will be critical for solving local problems. Through such times of national crisis, results are achieved when we pull together. Through collaboration, we can Feed a Million.

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