The KiliPads project was started a year ago in cooperation between TATU Project and T.E.A.C.H.
The idea came from the fact that girls in rural areas have difficulties dealing with their periods and often drop out of school because of it. Indeed, a lot of them do not know what the menstruations are and end up feeling ashamed and frightened when they reach puberty. Either they talk to their mother, or if they feel brave enough, to their teacher. But sanitary pads are expensive and hygiene conditions at school are not sufficient for them do deal with it. In the end they use old pieces of clothes or blankets, which lead to infections as they are not cleaned and/or boiled for a better hygiene.
The goal of the KiliPads project is to work with a small group of 10 women from the Msitu wa Tembo community to create a business which would produce reusable, washable sanitary pads. They would be constituted of materials that would make them waterproof and hygienic, using natural material like cotton. If taken good care of, these pads could last a year therefore solving the economic problem surrounding the menstruations. But another issue was to give the women and the girls an education on basic hygiene to keep their pads in a good shape and clean, to avoid infections. From this came the idea of giving health seminars around women’s health, dealing with subjects such as: periods, pregnancy, STD’s, midwifery…
In that sense, the KiliPads project has many goals. Mainly, it will allow teenage girls to go on with their studies, but it will also create a small business therefore giving some women a chance to be self-sufficient. The health seminars are there to provide them with an education on intimate matters that can be taboo which demystifies and explains what it means to be a woman.