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Valerie Naidoo… 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 Naidoo, 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 Naidoo and Wireless Female Network for giving us a chance to do good and end #PeriodPoverty.

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