50 Cents. Period – From Small Stones to International Change
20 May 2014
50 Cents. Period., the current Foundation Beyond Belief Poverty and Health beneficiary, runs multiple programs from Nepal to Liberia to Atlanta, all with the focus on empowering women and girls through education and advocacy of underserved communities.
FBB is featuring 50 Cents. Period. at an integral part in their journey. Some of the projects that first kicked off the organization in December 2010 are coming to the end of their original planned stages. At the same time, the organization itself is continuing to grow, finding national recognition, local honors, and – just this month – their first ever full-time office space in Clarkston, Georgia.
Throughout this time, 50 Cents. Period., lead by Executive Director Lorrie Lynn King, has kept the focus on the women and girls to be served. The success of 50 Cents. Period. can best be seen through the example of one of their first projects.
King first visited the Shree Nawa Jagriti School on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal in December 2010 with 50 Cent Period’s field partner, Child Nepal. The plan was to visit low income schools to find issues they were having with infrastructure.
The school itself had long been an example of a great public-private partnership. When women of the surrounding village realized they were in need of a school for their children to learn, they began to slowly bring rocks to the location the school would sit, stacking them one by one. Eventually, the local government took notice and built a school on the spot. King was welcomed by this same partnership – school staff, community elders and students all lined up to welcome her – and to let her know their issues.
After a trip to India led to what would become the mission of 50 Cents. Period., a study in Nawa Jagriti also revealed the female students were missing school due to their periods. King returned to Nepal the next year, and again met with students and leaders, who had a list of demands including: girls only restrooms with disposal areas for pads, resting areas to use when having cramps, pads to be supplied at school, uniforms and underwear to be kept at school, and a doctor to talk to students and their mothers once per quarter.
Elders and staff agreed to demands, and 50 Cents. Period., working with Child Nepal and the Napali Medical Association made it happen. For three years the girls were served through the program.
When it came time for the program to close, local partners reported that absenteeism among the girls has deceased by 95% and completion rates has increased as well. The school and community are invested enough to continue funding the program with support from Child Nepal – ensuring girls in the area continue to be served.
50 Cents. Period. creates programs that make lasting impacts in the communities where they work. Girls and women in these school and towns gain knowledge and empowerment to go on even when the programs come to a close. Their new program in Monrovia, Liberia will certainly be the same. Once funding is secured to get the program running, women in Monrovia will see their lives changed forever.