Portland teen helps push Period Power in Congo

Oregon

He's raising money, school supplies and feminine hygiene products

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Most 16-year-old boys are prioritizing learning how to drive, busy with sports or their social life — but Asukulu Songolo is starting a movement.

The Central Catholic High School junior was born to refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Zambia and moved to the United States when he was still a baby.

“After learning about all the horrific tragedies that the Congolese people suffer — I’ve decided to make a change,” Asukulu said.

He’s decided to fight for women’s health and education in his homeland.

“We believe all people should have the right to menstrual hygiene and educational opportunity,” he said. “And so what that looks like is providing pads and tampons to hospitals –and providing notebook, scissors and pencils to schools, because a lot of schools there are under-resourced.”

He created the Congo Peace Project, a grassroots movement to raise money and supplies to send to the Congo.

“A lot of girls in general miss school and a lot of people use unsanitary ways to address their period, and so this can lead to further health issues down the line — and a lack of hygiene,” he said. “So that’s where a basic right comes in and us trying to realize that basic right for people.”

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