Currently in Brazil, 713,000 girls and women live without access to a toilet and/or shower at home. There are also more than 4 million who do not have access to minimal menstrual care items in schools. This data was revealed by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in the report "Menstrual Poverty in Brazil." The research showed the difficulties women encounter when going through the menstrual cycle every month. The research uncovered school, psychological, and financial problems arising from menstrual poverty in Brazil.
With this in mind, Procter & Gamble joined forces with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Rio Grande do Sul to carry out a project for vulnerable migrant women currently living in the Porto Alegre region. Started in January, the donations will occur until August 2023, serving more than 200 women. The Always brand pads and the Horizontal Love Foundation, with the support of PanVel pharmacies, are also involved in this action.
The beneficiaries signed up for the project earlier this year through one of ADRA's existing actions, “Connect Brasil,” for migrants in Rio Grande do Sul. The project "Helping Migrant Women to Reencontrar" was one of those selected by P&G to work on the issue of menstrual poverty in Brazil. The Adventist humanitarian agency received a donation of 100,000 pads that will be delivered to the participants on a monthly basis. A total of 253 women were enrolled, ages 13–60.
It is not only products that women are receiving, but also guidance on women's health through lectures in monthly meetings, as well as monitoring of the Connect Brasil project, which wants to insert them into the labor market.
Tânia Cendofanti, the coordinator for ADRA in Rio Grande do Sul, is leading the project to fight menstrual poverty and the results of this in society. "In the events, we are working not only on menstrual poverty, but also on women's empowerment, domestic violence prevention, and how to get a job, in addition to promoting Portuguese language courses and vocational courses," she says.
The first meetings took place in January and February. ADRA took all the women to the meeting place for free. During the meetings, they listened to lectures about women's intimate health, emotional intelligence, and self-esteem. The lectures were conducted by doctors, nurses, and psychologists in the participants' native language. "I am very grateful for the project and for being there. I am enjoying it very much," confesses Zulay, one of the participants.
The action also works in partnership with the Commerce Social Service (SESC). The beneficiaries will be able to undergo medical exams so they can have easier access to health care. The whole process is closely monitored by ADRA.
"One of the project's objectives is also that, during this eight-month period in which they are accompanied, we can refer these women to selective processes for jobs," explains Daniel Fritolli, ADRA's director for Rio Grande do Sul. Since the beginning of the project, five women have already been employed.
ADRA is the humanitarian agency of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is present in more than 130 countries; in Brazil, it is organized in 16 regions that serve every state. The organization's work is to promote development and timely relief to people in vulnerable situations, prioritizing several major areas of action: management of shelters and halfway houses, emergency response and post-crisis recovery, promotion of education, promotion of food security and hunger reduction, community health care and promotion, and water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH).
In Rio Grande do Sul, one of the largest projects developed by ADRA is Connect Brasil, which helps migrants by offering structure and support through help in selection processes for jobs and vocational courses. The families also receive support with food, clothing, renting property, and furniture.