VeVe on Ending Period Stigma in Nigeria Through Activism & Online Advocacy

How a Nigerian Family Business is championing menstrual health

Isioma Ononye
9 min readMay 28, 2024
VeVe’s annual December outreach themed; Charity For Humanity 2022

VeVe is an African Social Enterprise which empowers women to not be stigmatised and disadvantaged.

Their mission and goal is to create a society where women feel empowered and have unrestricted and dignified menstruation. They believe in a world where menstrual essentials are to be made free.

The organisation is being run as a family business with brothers and sister: Adedeji Adegoroye as the Founder and Adetutu Adegoroye and Mojoyinade Adegoroye provide support in the management.

When it comes to what inspired the creation of VeVe, Adedeji says it was due to the misinformation about menstrual education.

He said if parents could have more discussions with their children, this would prevent teen pregnancy, sexual infections and STDs.

To end menstrual stigma and period poverty in Nigeria, VeVe facilitates both physical and online outreaches to have open communication with youths, children and adults.

Mojoyin hosts online outreaches such as the Instagram Live discussions at VeVe as she is their Publicity Manager and the Chief Operating Officer (COO) where she oversees projects and the execution of their events.

She also facilitates and shoots interviews where they go for programs, obtaining content and promotional materials.

Adetutu supports the enterprise in the drafting of letters, notes and other important documents for the team. He helps in organizing programs participating in outreach events early on and fulfilling orders.

He says that VeVe’s mission of benevolence was more than enough to get him on board over two years ago and he has not looked back ever since.

As for Mojoyin, she says that what makes VeVe different is that they are intentional about what they do.

They attach love and care to everything they do and they give back to their community.

The Creation of VeVe: LoVe and LiVe

Adedeji came up with the idea of VeVe when he was schooling in Ghana.

While there, he noticed a few things. He had many female friends going through a lot and he got to listen to and learn from them.

Then, he realised one of the major issues they have when it comes to menstruation.

Once they start their periods and especially if they are in their boyfriend’s house, they leave and go back home.

He observed that one of his closest friends, the day her period started, she went home for about three weeks. He called her boyfriend and asked what was going on and he said, she’s home.

He went to look for her. Then, he got to her house and realised she was sitting on the ground and he asked her what happened. She said she’s been having her menstruation for about a week plus and it hasn’t stopped.

She ran out of pads. She switched to tissues and then she ran out of tissues so she was now using rags.

With the little money she had, she had to choose between buying a pad or tissue or feeding herself and her younger brothers who were toddlers. The eldest was about ten. She was the one taking care of them in the absence of her parents.

She also needed medication to stop the bleeding but it was a tough decision. She had to choose between food, health, shelter and menstrual health.

This shouldn’t be a choice because it’s a basic need.

A few months later, Adedeji asked his friends to start a menstrual packaging company. It didn’t work out then but later on, it did kick off.

In 2020, Adedeji, Adetutu and Mojoyin thought of what they would call their organisation. They confirmed and verified that VeVe would be a good name and it was coined from two words: LoVe and LiVe.

In 2021, they started putting themselves out there, especially on social media and Instagram.

Then in 2022, they began outreaches in Nasarrawa and Keffi. They went to six schools and one orphanage.

What Differentiates VeVe from Other Organisations?

World Menstrual Day: The Ministry of Women Affairs in collaboration with other ministries and in partnership with VeVe

Adedeji says that what differentiates VeVe from other organisations is that they are family-centered and faith-based. They believe that every human being has to give thanks to God and to acknowledge his existence.

Also, at VeVe, they are set on changing the narratives about the way menstruation occurs in Nigeria, in Africa and the diaspora.

They believe that menstruation should be celebrated.

When they go on outreaches, they have a creative way of passing their message along. They infuse the use of technology, art, fashion and music.

Sometimes, songs are used to teach about menstrual health and hygiene. Other times it’s art, spoken words, drawings and paintings.

As for every menstrual box they curate, they ensure it is highly personalised. They include hand-written notes down to the last detail.

One of their beneficiaries was from Rishima Faith and Hope Christian Academy Nassarawa.

When they got VeVe’s menstrual box, they were truly grateful.

In Rishima Hope Christian Academy, a school where most of the student population are orphans, the head boy expressed his excitement when he said: “We are really happy for your presence and we have nothing to say except God bless you.”

Another beneficiary; Tailorinscrubs got a surprise package and it was customized to her taste without her prior knowledge.

“It’s awesome, I love everything about it, it’s like you knew me before. You got every detail of what I wanted and to think of it, the only thing they asked was if I had heavy flow. Thank you for this amazing box,” she said.

Whenever a girl receives VeVe’s menstrual box, they are filled with so much joy and gratitude.

Also, what makes VeVe stand out from other organisations is not only how their menstrual boxes make their clients feel but also, the fact that when they make sales from their period care packages, a percentage goes to charities for people in the marginalised and rural areas.

Menstrual Health Outreaches Conducted By VeVe

VeVe has done several outreaches. They’ve gone on outreaches to churches and government secondary schools, private schools, orphanages and embassies.

At schools, they have students who come to talk to them and ask questions in private to sort out their mental health and sexual health.

Adedeji said it’s been a success because people have taken the time to go back to VeVe’s social media accounts and access some of the information they have shared with the general public.

A menstrual outreach they had in December 2022 was themed Charity for Humanity which was focused on women in Abuja assessing menstrual essentials.

The Significance of Menstrual Health and Ending Period Stigma in Nigeria

Mojoyin says she grew up in a loving home. Her mother taught her menstrual health and hygiene before she started having her period.

Also, in her home, her father buys menstrual essentials for herself and her mother. Her brothers were also taught to take care of them during their periods.

When she had her first period, she noticed she was stained and was wearing white. She told her mother she just had her period. Her mother hugged her and was happy. They prayed about it and Mojoyin knew exactly what to do.

Her mother left and she wore her pad properly. She washed her bedsheet and her trousers. She managed herself well and then went to school.

Mojoyin says that it was when she went to boarding school that she noticed that others did not have adequate knowledge about menstrual education.

In her school, many girls did not know how to wear their pads well. People would get stained often because they didn’t place the pads properly on their pants.

Also, some women and girls don’t have enough knowledge about what goes on in their bodies.

Some would say they are having cramps or they haven’t seen their period but are unaware of the varied reasons such as period fluctuation, weather, stress or diet.

Mojoyin used the opportunity at school to teach people about periods and menstrual management.

Visit to the IDP Camp at Area1 Durumi in collaboration with the Christ Of Christ Kado

In addition to menstrual education, Mojoyin advocates for mental health because your periods affect how you think.

As a woman, she doesn’t want other woman to feel bad about their periods because she’s learned what needs to be done to take care of her mental health when she’s gone through some hormonal imbalances and mood swings.

She’s learned how to combat the effects with the right medication, herbal teas and a routine that works for her.

The Biggest Challenges in Aiming to End Period Poverty in Nigeria

Adedeji states that one of the biggest challenges when it comes to ending period poverty is the social norms around menstruation.

That menstruation is something that people want to keep quiet about which is why it’s difficult to celebrate menstrual health in public.

He therefore believes that society needs to talk to children in-depth about menstrual health.

Outreach visit to City of Refuge Orphanage, Durumi Garki, Abuja in partnership with The Idem-Udo Foundation

Also, another challenge for VeVe is that funding is not flowing as much as they would like it to.

The greatest challenge they have had as a team is that most of them are working and trying to make ends meet.

They balance work, life and home and because of that, the work doesn’t go as fast as they intend it to.

Their goal would be to incorporate full-time staff and dedication.

VeVe’s Goals for the Next Five Years?

For the next five years, Mojoyin and Adedeji want to create useful and positive partnerships with other organisations and institutions.

They hope to be a leading brand when it comes to menstrual health and education, in addition to menstrual boxes.

When you talk about menstruation, the goal would be to say: VeVe: LoVe & LiVe.

They intend to customise their brand and in so doing, they hope to open up a channel of proper communication and dialogue.

In the next five years, the goal would be to enlighten the community around them.

They want to start with Abuja and then positively impact Nigeria with free menstrual essentials.

As for Adedeji, he says that as an IT expert, he wants to infuse IT into the healthcare system.

They want people to register online and then to go to pick-up locations.

In Conclusion

Having access to menstrual pads is important for every woman and girl because going through menstruation is part of womanhood.

Therefore, a girl on her period should not find herself in dire need of what she needs to do to manage herself during that time.

To care for herself.

To manage the effects on her physical and emotional health and to not be ashamed of bleeding.

A girl on her period should also be able to have menstrual pads easily available and accessible to her.

This is why VeVe is championing what it means to bleed.

To take away the stigma and shame associated with periods and instead, bring back a sense of dignity to a girl on her period.

To support VeVe in advancing the menstrual health of women and girls in Nigeria and to changing the negative narratives surrounding periods, follow VeVe on @veve_exclusive and visit their site at www.veve.ng

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Isioma Ononye

👩‍💻I write about self-esteem, faith, mental health, women’s issues, social media & TV + Film Reviews. 📩Newsletter: https://substack.com/@isiomaononye