CHALLENGING Period Poverty
“Meeting the hygiene needs of all adolescent girls is a fundamental issue of human rights, dignity and public health.” Sanjay Wijesekera, former Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, UNICEF.
For many women and girls, in low-resourced countries, it is a simple fact that they don’t have the funds to buy the safe and hygienic sanitary products, that would allow them to manage their periods with dignity.
Building on the success of the Welsh Government funded project to provide two facemasks for each child in three schools in Chongwe, Zambia, at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Mothers of Africa funded the production of 300 sanitary packs for the girls at Evergreen School in Chongwe. Each pack contains five washable pads in an attractive cotton bag. They were produced by a local sewing group, managed by Mrs Noriah Buleya, using the sewing machines donated to the group, as part of the initial the Welsh Government coronavirus project grant. (July 2020)
Working with the support of Chongwe’s District Education Board Secretary, Mr Joseph Chanda, our project aims to provide sanitary packs to all schoolgirls of menstrual age in Chongwe District; some 18,000 packs of five towels over the next 2 years. That’s nearly 90,000 towels. We provide Mrs Buleya’s group with all the materials needed, reimburse travel expenses and provide lunch for the group. We also bought two manual sewing machines for the Shiyala School, so the girls can learn to sew their own towels. If this proves successful, we will look to extend this to other schools in Chongwe District.