Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
KidsCan welcomes the Government’s announcement today that free period products will be provided from June to all New Zealand students who need them.
“In New Zealand no one should be missing school because they don’t have period products. It is a basic human right,” KidsCan’s CEO Julie Chapman says.
“Due to Covid-19, we have more families than ever forced to choose between buying period products or food. Period inequity is creating huge anxiety in our already vulnerable young girls. It is a barrier to an education they desperately need to get out of poverty.”
KidsCan has been providing free period products to schools since 2015. We provide free menstrual products and supporting educational materials in a youth-informed model designed to reinforce dignity and respect. Our programme reaches more than a third of public schools in New Zealand and last year we distributed over 130,000 packs of products to students across the country. In 2020 KidsCan supported four Waikato schools as part of Government’s Phase 1 Access to Free Period Products Waikato Trial.
KidsCan shares Government’s aim of improved engagement, fewer young people missing school due to their period and reducing financial strain on families. We will continue to work towards the goal of ensuring no student goes without – we consider that access to period products is a necessity, not a luxury.
KidsCan is New Zealand’s leading charity dedicated to helping Kiwi kids affected by poverty. We help the 1 in 5 children experiencing hardship by providing food, jackets, shoes and health products to 822 low-decile schools and 99 early childhood centres across New Zealand. With these basics, kids can participate in learning and have the opportunity for a better future.
Last year KidsCan supplied schools with:
778 tonnes of food, including 1.3 million servings of hot lunches.
27,200 pairs of shoes and socks
26,000 bottles of head lice treatment
Over 130,000 packets of period products – 100,000 more than in 2019.