Candice Chirwa

Qrate

What does your company do?

Qrate is focused on Youth Empowerment through Education and Advocacy, also called #Eduliftment. Encompassing a range of initiatives aimed at educating and empowering young people on topics such as menstrual health, sexual education, reproductive rights, and related social issues. Qrate does this through conducting workshops, providing educational resources, advocating for policy changes, and fostering community engagement to empower youth and promote positive social change.

What is your biggest success?

One of my greatest achievements as the Founder and Director of Qrate has been creating and successfully implementing the "Know Your Flo" workshops. These workshops have provided comprehensive menstrual health education to over 10,000 young people across South Africa, including rural and underserved areas. Our innovative and engaging approach has educated and empowered these young individuals to take control of their menstrual health with confidence and dignity. A particularly proud moment was securing a partnership with Ford Motor Company, which provided us with a 4x4 vehicle. This allowed us to travel to remote areas, ensuring no community was left behind. Seeing the direct impact of our work on the lives of so many young people and witnessing their transformation and increased self-confidence has been incredibly rewarding and reaffirms my commitment to addressing period poverty and menstrual education.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Throughout my journey with Qrate, I've faced significant obstacles, particularly in securing clients for sustainable work due to the taboo nature of menstruation. Engaging potential clients is challenging as many decision-makers, often men, view menstrual health as an uncomfortable or niche topic. The pervasive stigma surrounding menstruation makes it difficult to prioritize this critical issue. Securing sustainable work has required innovative approaches and persistent advocacy efforts. Educating potential clients about the importance of menstrual health education, debunking myths, and showcasing the tangible benefits of our programs has been essential. Highlighting the positive impact on communities and individuals has helped us gain traction despite the societal taboos and biases that often sideline discussions about reproductive health.