… an essential part of our #MenstruationMatters Campaign

If you’ve been following our #MenstruationMatters campaign, you’ll know that we’ve joined forces with Wireless Female Network to support Rydal Park Secondary in Phoenix and do our bit to end #PeriodPoverty. We sat down with Valerie Naidoo, the incredible woman behind the organisation and a member of our very own Blake Family, to find out more about her NPO and why it’s a cause so close to her heart. Here’s what she shared with us…

Q: Valerie, what was it that inspired you to start this NPO? 

A: My role in the organisation that I worked for in 2018 gave me an insight into just how ill-positioned women were when it came to high-end paying jobs. One of the key reasons for this was due to some females feeling very intimidated by a computer and mouse. Computer literacy amongst females was low and this was predominantly amongst those from the underprivileged/low income earning areas. Women in general, experience high levels of anxiety when it comes to embracing the tech and the digital space. I then decided to run training sessions on ICT at a women’s shelter in Durban with the aim of helping these females become more employable. As fate would have it, it was during my very first visit to this shelter I discovered another major issue: period poverty and the lack of menstrual health education. These two reasons then became the driving force behind the unofficial formation of the ‘’Wireless Female Network’’.

Q: What’s the vision and mission of your NPO? 

A: Wireless Female Network has a double mission: To advance socio-economic empowerment of women in Africa by closing the gender gap whilst focusing on health and wellbeing through reducing period poverty. The organisation focuses on 4 primary areas that are a call for action: Education, Menstrual Health Management, Social Inclusion, and Technology.

Q: What values and principles do you live by?

A: I am big on self-investment – this opens the door to growth and creates more space for self-love. The signature of empowerment and upliftment is self-love, confidence, and self-esteem. To be able to empower and inspire others I need to feel empowered myself. As a result, my value system is based on purpose living, the law of attraction and having an open attitude.

Q: What’s your advice for women out there who want to start their own business or NPO. 

A: Don’t overthink it, just do it.

Q: What have you got in the pipeline that you’re excited to share with us?

A: I have joined forces with 8 formidable women including the likes of Justina Mutala (Honorary Ambassador of Think Tank international and African Women Of The Year 2012) to publish ‘’Digital Pink: Women Mastering The Art Of Disruption’’. This is a book that I’m working on that will be published in September 202!

On behalf of all at The Blake Group, we thank Valerie and Wireless Female Network for giving us a chance to do good and end #PeriodPoverty.