Sunday, June 28, 2015

Tampon's Are A Charitable Cause

It’s said somewhere – though, I have to admit, I don’t know where or who made the utterance, that as a Christian, I have a duty to give to those who don’t have.

I do. Ok, I lied. But I used to. I used to give to All Saints Church but gave up because every Sunday, they wanted more. And more. In forty odd years of giving offertory, they never once said to me: “Hey TB, we’ve taken enough of your dime so this Sunday, just chill.”

These days, my charitable contributions go to Silk Lounge, Miki’s, Nampeera’s and especially weddings, because I actually get something out of it like a good buffet meal, old school music – assuming DJ is switched on, and of course interesting conversation with my pals – the two J’s - Daniels and Walker along with TML and sometimes Jameson that, last way into the dead of the night at a fine hotel.

Today, there are hundreds of charities involved in anything from clean water to hunger, old people to the environment. I don’t know how many charities we have in Uganda, but Google tells me that in the UK, there are over 190,000 and they all want something from me – well us, and that is money to see through their cause.

With so many charities’ floating about, there is need to be noticed for us to give. Marketing has to be aggressive as Bob Geldof did with Live Aid in the 80 and Susan Nsibirwa does with Sunday Vision and Richard Branson does with his Virgin Group.

People have run round the world to raise money for charity. They’ve also done marathons, walked across the Sahara, jumped out of planes,bungee jumped and so forth. But still, charities need to push further to get noticed.

Recently I came across a previously unheard of charity, and I probably wouldn’t have given them a second glance had two things not stood out. The charity is raising money for women in Uganda and secondly and I got to pause here for a while because I don’t know how to word it. But what the heck, let me just blurt it out. The charity is called #JustATampon and in partnership with Plan UK, they aim to break the stigma, embarrassment, gender inequality and taboo surrounding women’s periods.

They have come up with the most unusual campaign to raise money for Ugandan Woman. The idea is that you post a picture of yourself holding a tampon onto social media - Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, accompanied by the dedicated hashtag and a donation of £3 (sh20,000) to support their menstrual health work and projects in Uganda and beyond.

They say that the £3 each participant donates can provide Ugandan Girl sanitary towels for a year and help tackle the discrimination she faces - not just around menstrual hygiene, but other issues like child marriage and female genital mutilation. Tampon campaign also goes on to ask how much do men know about periods.

Tampax Compak Pearl, say the campaign is working and found that two thirds of UK men now agree that they would not be embarrassed to talk about tampons with women.

But pause. How many Ugandan women – let alone us sneering men, would happily pose for a picture with tampon in hand and seeing the picture plastered on social media – let alone in Sunday Vision or Bukedde? 

For sure, Simon Lokodo at the ministry of ethics and integrity would step in and arrest anybody caught with ‘women’s things’ while our MPs would find the campaign inappropriate and bleat: “We are honourable MPs. How can you ask us to do something utterly dishonourable? Tampons ought to be out of sight or in the pit latrine!”

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