There are time’s when you speak to someone for the first time and you are just completely blown away by their passion, their genuine good nature and enthusiasm for what they do everyday. I was lucky enough to have one of these moments yesterday when I spoke to Chantelle Baxter for the first time. Baxter is the cofounder of One Girl, an Australian organisation that helps girls and women create change.
Above is the video of her TEDx Sydney audition a few weeks ago talking about how One Girl have created a product called Launch Pad to educate and give women access to hygienic solutions for when they have their periods. The catalyst behind the launch of this campaign was an encounter with a 15 year old girl in Uganda called Brenda, who asked Chantelle to buy her sanitary pads. Chantelle declined as she was leaving the country and was not going to be there to do it for her next time, to which the girl told Chantelle, that she had been told by a nurse that if she did not have proper sanitary items that she would get cancer and a host of other problems.
Chantelle upon arrival to her hostel began to do a bit of research and to her horrifying surprise, millions of women across the developing world are impacted by a host of illnesses, bruising and bacteria due to poor menstrual hygiene. This lead to the sourcing of a biodegradable pad and education classes across the village to teach women how to use the product. So far they have sold over 30,000 pads and this is just the beginning. They are now training locals to be resellers and educators of the product, empowering them to learn business skills and earn money.
One Girl does a lot more than this though, they are getting ready to launch last years successful campaign “Do it in a Dress” where people get sponsorship and do something [a fun run or even just turn up to work etc] wearing a school girls uniform to raise money and awareness for female education in these communities. Watch this space closely, Chantelle Baxter is a future Social Enterprise powerhouse leading change at home and across the world.