Video made by Kate Thompson-Gorry
In 2017 I needed to go on an adventure and go back to where I grew up and travel Africa to break my day to day routine and push my limits so I participated to a car rally crossing southern Africa taking shoes to children.
I spoke to many school girls and they told me their dreams for their future; bookkeeper’s, nurse’s, police, teacher’s.
After the Rally, my son and I worked as volunteers on Imiri Rhino & Wildlife Conservancy and while doing some community work in rural areas around the conservancy, I was introduced to the MOTHER GROUP at NUMWA school who make REUSABLE SANITARY PAD KITS for the girls at school.
It was an issue that I had never heard of and it really touched me as after having done the rally and spoken to so many girls and realising that many of these girls will not be able to fulfil their dreams because of missing so much school during their menstruation.
Many girls don’t even know that sanitary pads exist and they often use DRY LEAVES, SAND or pieces from FOAM MATTRESSES to be able to attend school.
Many girls DROP OUT of school after falling behind in their studies or being ashamed to go to school from being teased after soiling their clothes with blood. The only option for them is then marry and have children at such young ages, where mortality rate is very high in childbirth, leaving aside the problems of HIV etc and lack of clinics, medicines and Doctors or nurses.
So something so simple as a sanitary pad kit can give a school girl a choice to stay in school and have a better chance of a future.
A sanitary pad kit includes: 6 FABRIC REUSABLE PADS, 3 FABRIC REUSABLE PAD HOLDER, 1 PAIR OF UNDERWEAR, 1 SOAP and 1 TOWEL.
I started my campaign to raise money to help and give as much awareness where possible. I have since been in touch with others that work and campaign for the same issue around Africa and am looking at new collaborations for the next year after my upcoming trip to distribute sanitary pad kits in ZIMBABWE, ZAMBIA and BOTSWANA , made by the mothers group in WEDZA.
I will also be speaking with head women from towns to talk about setting up groups and teaching them how to make the sanitary pad kits.