Re-usable sanitory pads project

Due to lack of sanitary pads and menstruation management skills, girls in rural primary school drop out of school and later get married at a tender age increasing issues of early marriages and escalating levels of illiteracy among girls. This proposed project targets 220 adolescent girls and women in chamaladza and Chikangawa respectively. In these areas menstruation and hygiene management remains a daunting challenge in the life of many adolescents and women alike. In Malawi, just like in many African countries, menstruation is a very private matter that is rarely talked about in public. The muteness of this subject coupled with the disadvantaged socioeconomic position of girls and women in Malawi propagates further inaccessibility to the much-needed sanitary pads. The introduction of commercial sanitary towels has not completely saved the situation considering that the associated price of the towel is not affordable to many Malawians.

In order to achieve the project objectives, Mzuzu Hub will provide human resources to train beneficiaries on how to make reusable sanitary pads. The hub will also be responsible for entrepreneurship training for all the targeted beneficiaries as well as civic education on menstruation hygiene and management through various organized outlets. Entrepreneurship training has been incorporated in the project activities to empower women economically such that they should be able to take care of other needs through a tailoring workshop with the provided sewing machines. The project considers schools, orphanages, and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) as organized outlets for all its activities and distribution of sanitary towels to the girls. The sustainability of the project relies on the training that will be offered to the beneficiaries. When girls have been trained on how to produce reusable sanitary pads there is a surety that this knowledge will be passed on from generation to generation. Moreover, the entrepreneurship skills that will be imparted to the beneficiaries will help them to be self-reliant in the procurement of reusable pad materials and maintenance of the received sowing machine.

The hub activities for this project are:

  • To train school-going girls and orphanage guardians to make reusable sanitary pads

  • To provide reusable sanitary pads to school going girls in orphanages

  • Conduct entrepreneurial skills training for women and orphanage guardians

  • To provide sewing machines to orphanages and Community Based Organization

  • To conduct civic education on menstruation hygiene and management

The project short and long-term goals are:

  • Enhance the enrolment of school-going girls in rural areas

  • To increase accessibility to sanitary pads to school going girls

  • To reduce psychosocial challenges that are associated with menstruation hygiene and management

Mzuzu hub has so far managed to provide menstrual and hygiene awareness only to over 60 school-going girls in chamalaza representing 60% from the sampled beneficiaries of 100. Girls are now aware of their rights and how best they can challenge themselves to overcome psychosocial challenges associated with menstrualation more school enrollment has increased from 35% to 40 due to such engagements with the community. Mzuzu Hub collaborated with Mtende Foundation; a local organization working in areas of health and women empowerment, the organization provided us with capacity in terms of resource mobilization as well as covering other logistical shortfalls.