Freweini of Ethiopia named CNN Hero

Freweini Mebrahtu of Ethiopia is named the 2019 CNN Hero of the Year for helping girls stay in schools providing reusable menstrual pads.

“I don’t even know what to say,” Freweini said when receiving the award. “I am so humbled and grateful for CNN … this is for all the girls and women everywhere. Dignity for all.”

She and her team produce 750,000 reusable pads a year at her factory in Ethiopia. Nearly 800,000 girls and women have benefited from her work.

She has partnered with Dignity Period, which helps Ethiopian girls stay in school by providing the supplies and education they need to manage menstruation.

By doing so she has also contributed a lot in trying to end the cultural stigma around the issue related to menstrual in Ethiopian society.

Online voters selected Freweini as the 2019 CNN Hero of the Year award from among the Top 10 CNN Heroes finalists.

Freweini — who is from Ethiopia and studied chemical engineering in the US — designed and patented a reusable menstrual pad in 2005.

More than 80% of the pads she manufactures are sold to non-governmental organizations that distribute them for free. SOURCE- CNN