In Sub-Saharan Africa, one in every ten girls either misses one-fourth of their school days or drops out altogether due to the unavailability or unaffordability of menstrual products. This situation puts them at a higher risk of early marriage and contracting AIDS, which further perpetuates the vicious cycle of poverty. During their periods, these girls are forced to stay at home and rest on a mattress of straw for an entire week. To make matters worse, most of them do not even have underwear. Due to the lack of resources, schools in Malawi are unable to provide students with schoolwork to take home. This unfortunate circumstance causes these girls to fall further and further behind in their studies.
Africa Bags has created a solution to improve the current situation by introducing reusable and washable menstrual pads called Africa Pads.
These kits consist of multiple pads, including three base pads, three thick liners with wings, two thick liners, and five thin liners. Additionally, each kit includes a double-sided purse for storage and discreet use. The pads are made entirely of African cotton, which helps to prevent odors and reduce irritation, resulting in a comfortable and happy period experience.
In Malawi, the dropout rate for girls in school is alarmingly high, with significant consequences. According to the United Nations Population Fund, girls who receive less than seven years of education are more likely to be married by age 18, which increases their risk of contracting HIV. Education is a vital tool for empowerment, and Africa Pads is committed to keeping girls in school. By providing these kits, we aim to help girls attend school regularly and achieve their aspirations, resulting in a brighter future for both themselves and Malawi.
In Africa, disposable pads pose a serious environmental and health threat due to the lack of waste management systems. These non-biodegradable pads often end up as litter and can accumulate to a large extent. According to Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation, an average woman discards 250 to 300 pounds of pads or tampons in her lifetime. When multiplied by the number of women on the planet, the amount of waste generated is staggering.
To combat this issue, Africa Pads offers a sustainable solution that can last up to five years. This reduces the amount of waste produced by disposable pads and tampons. Additionally, menstrual blood is a natural fertilizer that can be used to nourish plants. The water used to clean Africa Pads can also be repurposed for this purpose.
Africa Pads is a self-sufficient business that utilizes African fabric and resources. It teaches Malawian women how to make the pads and empowers them to run and sell the business locally. The village of Kamweko, under Africa Bags, is now producing Africa Pads. These pads will be sold to women who can afford them, however, most schoolgirls cannot. To help with this issue, Africa Pads provides schoolgirls with pad kits and underwear to ensure they can stay in school. By staying in school, Malawian girls increase their earning potential by 20% each year. Additionally, Africa Pads is constructing private girls' restrooms, creating herbal gardens, and educating girls about their health to better support them during their monthly cycles. Donate to Africa Pads today by purchasing an Africa Pads kit and changing a girl's life for the better. Remember, educating a girl means educating a nation. Africa Pads is a self-sustaining business that uses African fabric and resources, teaches Malawian women to make the pads themselves, and empowers them to run the business and sell the pads locally.
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 Pads is providing 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%! We are also building private girls’ restrooms, creating herbal gardens, and educating girls about their health to better support them during their monthly cycles.