Help us raise £2,100 and in June this year, we’ll start an exciting new project in rural Malawi. We plan to train 5 local women to make reusable sanitary pad kits so 500 girls can attend school each month during their period.
Normally, they have to stay home and miss up to one quarter of school time, often including vital end of year exams, because they don’t have access to sanitary pads. They endure discomfort and shame, which greatly affects their confidence and future achievement. Many girls give up hope of catching up on their school work and some leave school altogether. This project will help keep more girls in school so they can complete their education.
As well as improving hygiene, enabling the girls to go to school and boosting their confidence, it also means that 5 local women are trained and able to earn an income for their work so they can help support their families.
I remember one time I had to tear up my bed sheets...
One lady in rural Malawi has shared how she struggled when she was at school…
“I have six sisters and one brother. Both my parents worked, but because we had extended family living with us (uncles, aunts, cousins), and grandparents close by who my parents also supported, there was very little money.
“I started my period when I was in the second year at secondary school. Without proper advice, I just did what other girls were doing. I would use old wrappers or clothes. I remember one time I had to tear up my bed sheets because there was nothing else. Menstruation was the hardest part of my life because my father was a strict man and I was never allowed to miss school. I was often very uncomfortable and I ended up with sores on my thighs nearly every month. My parents could not afford to buy me sanitary pads and this was the only way to cope with the situation.
“More than three-quarters of school girls cannot afford to buy sanitary pads in my community today. ‘Home-made’ sanitary pads are uncomfortable and often leak. Many girls choose to be absent from school to avoid embarrassment, ridicule and bullying from the boys. Sometimes they get infections, which may be because of poor hygiene.
“I was able to complete my education because my parents were working and understood the value of school, so they wouldn’t let me stay home, but many parents in our community are illiterate themselves and don’t realise how important it is for their daughters to attend school. This project will go a long way in helping girls complete their education.”
It’s a cost of just £4.20 / $5.70 per girl to train the women, buy sewing machines and materials and supply sanitary pads for a year. Can you help make this happen?
UK donors: donate now at https://www.give.net/e3malawiappeal
Other donors: donate now through PayPal at http://e3initiative.org/give-online-sanitary-pads-malawi/
E3 partner, Word Alive, is running this project and will be trained by another of our partners, Glad Tidings Orphan Care, who already run a similar project so we know it works! The girls are already part of a Life Skills programme, which helps them make wise choices in life and focus on school.
The difference this project will make
Glad Tidings Orphan Care has already seen the difference that sanitary pad kits can make to young girls in Malawi. It improves their attendance at school and their confidence and activeness in school activities.
Malesi is a student in year 11: “With the sanitary pack, I am very glad that I can now interact with my male teachers and fellow male students comfortably even during my period.”
Jessie, a year 8 student now feels more secure in class: “Although I was still determined to come to school during my period, I wasn’t concentrating. I was always worried that it may leak and everyone would notice me. I gave up on being top of my class, but now I believe with this kit I will concentrate in class and will still become a medical doctor.”
Any additional money raised will help fund the materials needed for future years and other E3 sanitary pad projects.
Thank you for your support.