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Way to Go! New Hyde Park senior launch nonprofit to provide hygiene products

Guari Shyamnath, a senior at New Hyde Park

Guari Shyamnath, a senior at New Hyde Park Memorial High School, recently established Femme Forces, a nonprofit organization that strives to ease the financial burden placed on females worldwide in securing adequate supplies of sanitary napkins. Credit: Guari Shyamnath

Two students from New Hyde Park Memorial High School have joined forces to provide feminine hygiene products to young women in Kenya.

Rafia Ahmed and Gauri Shyamnath, both seniors, recently established a nonprofit organization titled Femme Forces, which strives to ease the financial burden placed on females worldwide in securing adequate supplies of sanitary napkins.

The duo recently raised more than $2,000 in donations through the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe. That amount provided 450 underprivileged girls with a three-month supply of pads.

"We noticed a lack of attention surrounding feminine hygiene and pre- and postnatal care in developing nations," Ahmed said. "As young women of South Asian descent, we also recognize the taboo that surrounds feminine sex health in our culture."

The donations will benefit female students through the Kenya Education Fund, which provides scholarships to high schoolers and helps female students to get sanitary products. The fund is run by Brad Broder, to whom the girls where introduced through the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island, of which Shyamnath is a member.

In addition, Ahmed and Shyamnath are providing sanitary products for packets being assembled for local women as they are released from prison through the New Hour for Women and Children of Long Island.

"We are extremely appreciative of every dollar donated to help empower women on local and international scopes," Shyamnath said.

— MICHAEL R. EBERT

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