Empowering Women and Girls in Poverty
Through the Manufacture and Supply of Reusable Sanitary Pads
Host Organization: Angels Center of Hope Foundation (ACOH)
Timeline: December 2016-December 2017
ACOH’s Mission Statement: “Our vision is a world where the rights and dignity of every person are respected and all have access to basic needs”
Facebook page: https://wwww.facebook.com/acohkenya/?fref=ts
About the Project:
The primary goal of this project is to empower women and girls through the manufacture and supply of reusable sanitary pads. Due to high poverty levels in most rural regions of Kenya, many girls cannot afford sanitary pads. The little income available is allocated to basics, such as food, while their needs for sanitary pads are forgotten. Some are forced to use unhygienic materials, while others skip school during their menstrual cycle. Furthermore, many adolescent girls in rural Kenya have limited knowledge about their bodies, especially in relation to menstruation and sexual and reproductive health. Once girls start skipping school they are far more likely to be exposed to other risks such as early pregnancy and marriage, HIV/AIDS, and female genital mutilation.
In view of the above, the project is seeking to empower women and girls in poverty through the provision of reusable pads and capacity building on menstrual hygiene management and reproductive health. The objective is to start a social venture where reusable sanitary pads are produced for girls in need. These pads can provide a girl with up to 3 years of protection and thus is an affordable option for women and girls in poverty. Therefore, there are three main outputs of this project:
- Educational initiative: Firstly, ACOH will be going to schools in Machakos County to raise awareness among adolescent girls about Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) and sexual reproductive health.
- Building capacity: Secondly, with funds provided by EPN, ACOH will be hiring unemployed women to manufacture and supply the reusable sanitary pads. They will be receiving wages, training in sewing, and employment experience.
- Improving access to women and girls in poverty: Lastly, ACOH will be distributing a portion of the pads that are produced for free to girls living in poverty.
About EPN’s Assistance:
End Poverty Now is proud to announce that it will be partnering with ACOH as well as other donors in funding this initiative. EPN understands that to reduce the cycle of poverty, one needs to recognize the link between education and poverty and how access to sanitary pads impacts education rates. Around the world, women and girls are struggling to stay in school when they are unable to meet their menstrual hygiene needs. According to the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), approximately 2.6 million girls require support to obtain adequate MHM.
The funds provided by EPN will go towards purchasing materials, such as sewing machines as well as providing five months of salaries to the unemployed women who will be producing the reusable sanitary pads.