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Thursday, October 29, 2020
Oak Tree Retirement Village
Oak Tree Retirement Village

Making a difference to period poverty

Newcastle’s Sophie Eland is dedicated to making a difference.

The 21-year-old is striving to help bring an end to period poverty through her social enterprise, Box Beyond Borders. 

Photo: Peter Stoop

“My ultimate goal would be to have the biggest impact on period poverty as I can,” she says.

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The University of Newcastle Business and Commerce student started the company to provide life-changing feminine hygiene products to women in developing parts of the world.

“I created Box Beyond Borders to address inadequate female hygiene in developing countries,” Sophie says.

“I had the idea in Year 11 and then over the past couple of years I‘ve just been wondering if I should start it, but it wasn’t until I went to Vanuatu and Malawi and saw the issue in context, I thought something really needs to be done about it.”

Each month Sophie creates period subscription boxes that include two packets of period essentials (liners, pads, tampons, etc), some chocolates, and a surprise gift from Sukin, Garnier, The Ministry of Tea or Loving Earth.

For every box purchased Sophie then buys a menstrual cup to donate to a woman in need in Vanuatu, Malawi, Kenya, or India.

Sophie says it is a simple purchase that can have a life-changing impact.

While the boxes can be bought as one-offs, she encourages women to start a subscription.

“You can subscribe for the boxes, you could get one every month, three months or 12 months,” she says.

“The one for one business model means customers can get their needs met to make them feel good, while they are helping someone in need.”

To distribute the menstrual cups Box Beyond Borders has a partnership with Sophie’s former school, St Phillips Christian College.

The school has connections in Malawi and Vanuatu as well as India and Kenya.

Before the school makes a trip to any of these countries Sophie plans to educate some of the female students about how to properly use a menstrual cup.

One of the boxes that can be purchased from Box Beyond Borders. Photo: Peter Stoop

After these lessons, the students would then take the cups over to those countries and distribute them throughout in need communities.

Boxes are $33.95.

For more information or to purchase visit the Box Beyond Borders website.

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