By Sylvester Atemnkeng
Stephanie Tum, actress, philanthropist, CEO of Embi Company Ltd (a corporate and movie production company) and founder of EMBI Charity Foundation, has embarked on advocacy to subsidies sanitary pads to promote good menstrual hygiene among girls.
The objective of the campaign called “#GirlsAndHygiene” she says, is to create a holistic approach to the issue of menstruation, which is an experience that transcends culture and class.
The United Nations, according to her, has recognised menstrual hygiene as a global public health and a human rights issue across the globe. “Period poverty” as some call it, is a reality for millions of women and girls.
Speaking to the press recently during one of her campaigns, Stephanie Tum, one of Cameroon’s finest actresses, said she is happy to be associated with a much-needed awareness campaign.
The subject of menstrual hygiene, to her, is more about a change of mindset, than simply about the use of proper menstrual products and this (mindset change) is happening, but much more needs to be done.
Menstruation, to the beauty queen, is much more than just about losing blood and unused eggs, equally important is the safe disposal of used sanitary pads, which actually are an environmental disaster.
“Education about menstruation and menstrual hygiene changes everything”, she said.
“I am delighted to run the #GirlsAndHygiene Campaign to sensitise young girls and women and donate free sanitary pads to underprivileged girls and women in our communities. We are having a massive positive response from the general public, as they are delighted to come in and be part of something this empowering for young girls and women in our communities. Also, the reaction of these young women has been nothing short of gratitude and excitement. Our target is to distribute 10,000 sanitary pads before the end of the year 2019,” she said.
“Being an actress and having this huge platform too, has enabled me to use the platform and voice through the Charity Foundation to educate and create awareness on critical issues in the society, this, by far, is my most cherished passion at the moment. When I am not working or acting, I focus all my time and energy on my Charity Foundation which is so dear to me, because, it is named after my beloved late mum,” she added.
“Since I started my activities in May 2018, I have touched lives through my Girls and Hygiene Campaign. I educate and sensitise underprivileged girls and women on menstruation and menstrual hygiene and also distribute free sanitary pads, and I have succeeded to get Faytex Sanitary Cameroon on-board this venture as our partners,” she said.
She disclosed that she has been able to distribute about 1,500 free sanitary pads, so far, to underprivileged school girls and also internally displaced women affected by the Anglophone Crises and she is still on the mission to touch more young girls and women across Cameroon.
“I also run a Mental Health Awareness Campaign. Through on social media, I educate and sensitise the public on mental illnesses and I plan to take it on ground with my team, by visiting mental health facilities to create more awareness as our society is quite ignorant on the subject of mental illness. The journey is only getting started with God by my side, for, I have great plans for the future,” she added
Stephanie Tum said she started acting professionally in 2005 and her journey in the movie industry has been inconsistent in the past years, due to education, family and her job at the time as a professional in the oil and gas sector.