Her Education Matters
Helping girls to put periods in their place
Across the globe, girls can be prevented from completing their education because of difficulty in managing their monthly periods. This is a scenario that sadly holds true for many girls in Malawi. Recognised / ranking as one of the world’s poorest countries, some of the population earn less than $1 a day, and access to sanitary products to help manage their monthly menstrual cycle is simply out of reach financially. Without proper sanitary protection, girls and women in Malawi are often confined to their homes during menstruation and unable to participate in everyday activities. As a result of this, female students can miss up to a quarter of school time, including vital end of year exams, which can have a huge impact on their ability to progress through their school career.
How can you help?
Locally made, reusable sanitary pads offer a cost-effective and sustainable solution to the problem of sanitary protection. By supporting this project, you can help Malawian girls continue their primary school education with the opportunity to then progress to secondary school and beyond, greatly increasing their chances of lifting themselves out of poverty.
Your donations will fund resources for schoolgirls in Standards 5 to 8, the top 4 years of primary school, to enable them to manage their monthly periods, not just in one school, but six rural primary schools, located 30 miles from Lilongwe, in central Malawi. Over 900 girls could be helped in the next year. Students attend primary school for 8 years and are 14 years old, or more when they leave, as some students are more than 6 years old when they start school.
Reusable sanitary pads are being made globally. They are resilient, reusable over a year to 18 months, and create no disposal problems. Their use by girls and young women in Malawi is giving girls back their dignity and enabling them to continue their education throughout each month. Self-esteem will be raised, full attendance will improve exam results and girls have a better chance of realising their ambitions. When you donate to this project you will be enabling representatives of Mothers groups from each school to train to use treadle sewing machines and follow patterns to make the reusable pads. At least one Mother will be trained for each of the 6 schools and will be able to make reusable pads for 300 girls each year. There is a resource bank of suitable fabrics which have been donated prior to the start of the project. You will be funding the purchase of the sewing machines. You will fund the building of girls’ washrooms, where they can wash and change their pads, hygienically and discreetly. At present the older girls do not have separate toilet facilities. This project offers a sustainable solution to these schoolgirls empowering them to get the most from their education.
Two UK registered charities are working together to implement this project. Think Malawi have contributed £1000 from reserves to get this project started. Both charities minimise administration costs through the volunteer work done by the charity trustees and supporters in this country, and our volunteers in the USA. Your donations go to the projects they support. African Vision work under the name, The Landirani Trust, in Malawi. They have some Malawian employees but much of their work in schools is through Mothers’ Groups and volunteer Locally Based Groups.
UK registered charities
Think Malawi 1141352 African Vision Malawi 1113786