Investing In Teenage Girls For A More Just, Stable, and Peaceful World!
Malawian schools do not have enough resources to send schoolwork home with these girls. Thus these girls fall further and further behind.
A young Colorado lady named Rebekah Marsh brought this fact to Africa Bags attention. Rebekah came up with an idea to change this fact. With the help of her mom, Yolanda Marsh, together they brought Rebekah’s idea to life and created Africa Pads: reusable washable menstrual pads.
Reusable Washable Menstrual Pads:
These pads are sold in kits. A kit includes a fun double sided purse for storage and discreet use, 3 base pads, 3 thick liners with wings, 2 thick liners, and 5 thin liners.
The kit is made entirely with African cotton. The cotton breathes which helps to keep odors away, is better for private areas, and makes for a rash free happier period.
It is like wearing a soft pillow.
This kit can last up to 5 years. It is a one time buy for women in Malawi which is important considering resources run slim.
The attrition rate for girls in Malawian schools is extremely high, and the consequences of girls leaving school early are extremely profound. According to the United Nations Population Fund, girls with less than seven years of schooling are more likely to be married by age 18, and early marriage is directly linked to an increased risk of HIV infection. Education is essential for EMPOWERMENT. Africa Pads is focused on the fight to keep girls in school! This kit will help a girl attend school full time so that she can be healthy, educated, achieve her dreams, and set out for a better future and a better Malawi.
Sustainability and Empowerment:
Africa Pads is a totally self-sustaining business that uses African fabric and resources, teaches the Malawian women to make the pads themselves, and empowers them to run the business and sell the pads locally.
Disposable pads are in general non-biodegradable and most of Africa has no trash collection system. Thus disposable pads, if used in Africa, usually wind up as litter becoming a health and environmental hazard. On average, a woman will throw away 250 to 300 pounds of pads or tampons into the landfill throughout her life (Flow: the Cultural Story of Menstruation, p. 238). Multiply that by 3.5 billion women and that is a lot of trash!
Africa Pads also cuts down on the waste produced by disposable pads and tampons. Furthermore, menstrual blood is a natural fertilizer, and in a land where fertilizer is unaffordable for the average Malawian family this is great news. The water that is used to soak Africa Pads during the cleaning process can be used on plants for fertilization purposes.
The Africa Bags village of Kamweko is now producing Africa Pads. These kits will be sold to local women who can afford them. Unfortunately, most schoolgirls cannot. Africa Bags goals are to provide schoolgirls with pad kits and underwear to empower them to stay in school. For every year a Malawian girl stays in school her earning potential increases 20%!