Do you know an adventurous teen who wants to do good in the world – and is keen to travel, to do that good work hands-on? The UNA-USA HERO campaign is looking for 20 Youth Ambassadors (ages 16-19) from across Canada and the United States.

Through the HERO Youth Ambassador program, teens travel to southern Africa each summer for a month-long service and education program. There, they help to build classrooms, construct fences, install kitchens and engage in classroom activities.

Teens interested in applying to be a 2008 HERO Youth Ambassador can visit until March 1, 2008.

Here’s why –


In developing countries, many girls miss out on a lot of education time (and may drop out of school altogether) when they hit puberty, just because of a lack of clean and private bathroom facilities and hygiene products. (Don’t squirm, guys, it’s a fact of life.) And no child should lose out on the chance for a life-changing basic education – certainly not for such a fixable problem!

“There are lots of reasons kids miss school. Being a girl shouldn’t be one of them.”

“Girls will stay home rather than be embarrassed,” says Faith Macharia, National Director of FAWE Kenya. “In some areas of Africa, girls can miss up to four days of school each month because they lack the basic necessity of sanitary protection and other resources to help manage their periods while in school.”

The HERO campaign is funded in part by Protecting Futures, a program by founding brands Tampax and Always, dedicated to helping keep girls in school in southern Africa by improving access to feminine hygiene products as well as education and health services.

In the summer of 2007, Protecting Futures supported school and water construction programs at a HERO school in Namibia. The program is now expanding to HERO schools in the KwaZulu Natal region of South Africa where Protecting Futures will provide sanitary protection to young girls at 9 regional schools to help them overcome the obstacles to attending school during menstruation.

Deadline for applications for the 2008 program is March 1, 2008.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Anne Maybus

    What a great project. There are so many things we take for granted in our lives, aren’t there? It is hard enough learning to cope with periods when you first get them, but imagine coping in a place without proper sanitation? No wonder the girls stay home.

  2. silken

    my kids are not old enough but I am going to book mark it for future reference!

  3. domestika

    @Sonia, yes, please do spread the word, especially with an end-of-month deadline on this — a truly unique opportunity for a teenager with an active social conscience. My fabulous niece is already looking ahead to next year, when she’ll be 16 and old enough to apply!

  4. Sonia Simone

    Wow, this is a great project. I will pass the word around to my many bleeding-heart friends. :)

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