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Local

St. Charles fundraiser to benefit girls in Africa

Elizabeth Vander Woude sits with students in Ghana, where she did an educational program about feminine hygiene.
Elizabeth Vander Woude sits with students in Ghana, where she did an educational program about feminine hygiene.

ST. CHARLES – People will be able to lend a hand to school-age girls in Africa from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 14 at Global Brew Tap House, 2100 Prairie St., St. Charles, during the Give Her Pride fundraiser.

Elizabeth Vander Woude, an instructional coach at the two Thompson Middle School centers in St. Charles, is the event co-director.

“In West Africa and in Ghana, specifically, there is a large barrier and obstacle for young school girls at the onset of menstruation because they don’t have access to sanitary pads,” Vander Woude said. “Or they don’t have money to afford the sanitary pads.”

Vander Woude said that 60 percent of girls miss 50 days of school per year because they don’t have sanitary pads.

“Twenty-five percent of girls will just drop out of school at the onset of menstruation because it becomes so hard to keep up with the schoolwork when you’re missing that amount of school,” Vander Woude said.

Currently, village women are making pads – under the name Pride Sanitary Pad – that are made from banana and plantain fibers from leaves. They do this through the Research and Counselling Foundation for African Migrants, which produces the pads.

“It really empowers and helps a village,” Vander Woude said. “And it helps the women get paid to do that. And then they distribute these pads to schoolgirls so they can stay in school.”

All proceeds from the fundrasier in St. Charles will go toward making pads, packaging and paying workers, Vander Woude said.

There are different fundraiser packages.

A “Give Her One” ticket costs $12 and will pay for one girl to have a year’s supply of pads. A “Give Her Two” ticket costs $24 for two girls to have pads for a year, while a “Give Her Three” ticket costs $36 and allows for three girls to have pads.

Each level allows for attendees to have admission to the silent auction and sample West African cuisine.

The level two ticket gives one a choice of receiving a Give Her Pride T-shirt or a pop-socket, which is a cellphone accessory.

Level three ticket recipients will receive both the shirt and pop-socket.

The fundraiser will feature a silent auction. Items include baseball tickets, books, games, jewelry, essential oils and restaurant gift cards.

A 50/50 raffle will allow one to win half of raffle ticket earnings.

The Besabi Band, a Chicago band consisting of Ghanaian and Nigerian men, will provide upbeat tunes.

Cuisine includes joloff rice and chicken with traditional West African spices. There will be fried plantain and meat pie, consisting of seasoned beef wrapped in dough.

For dessert, there will be puff puff and chin chin, which is fried dough, like a doughnut hole.

In addition, there will be a tea-like drink called zobo made of hibiscus leaves, pineapple juice and ginger.

Dr. Ajume Wingo, a prince from Nso kingdom in Cameroon, is the co-founder of Pride Sanitary Pad.

“If you want to realize our own just society, once you realize gender equality, it behooves us here to take this opportunity and get to help one girl at a time,” Wingo said. “If they are helped very well, they will create a new generation of educated young women.”

Olabisi Adenekan, event co-director, gave a reason to go.

“It’s up to making our world a better place,” Adenekan said.

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