It was December 5, 2016. I was in my P.E. Health class, viewing a documentary that illuminated the risks of poor hygiene. This documentary highlighted the atrocities associated with homelessness, including the deprivation of basic needs. After collaborating with my cousin, Esha Kidambi, an intellectually-stimulating conversation brewed and we discussed the imminent issues facing the world today.
Our dedication to health sciences and community service met with our passion for feminism to produce a worthwhile cause that would benefit women in developing nations and on the streets: Empower Educate Youth. Through weeks of research and endless hours on the computer and in local districts, we found that women in developing countries and poverty-stricken communities were unable to gain an enriching education due to their anatomical physique. Paternalistic societies turned down their right to an education on the seemingly insignificant truth that they were women. Perceiving the injustice in that ideology, Esha and I were determined to connect with young women experiencing homelessness via shelters in third world countries and destitute communities such as Salinas, Hollister, and Vallejo.
For an added layer of complexity, Esha and I found it necessary to educate youth on the stigma surrounding periods and the importance of hygiene, in an effort to stimulate global development. We are currently working on a shipment of pads to St. Anne’s Home in Cape Town, South Africa and are earnestly collecting funds. In addition, we are contacting local middle schools and high schools to present our take on the stigma enveloping periods and to encourage youth to take action in speaking against this taboo.