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In Progress
Money used

$4,520

Area

Education

Region

🇬🇭 🇰🇪 🇿🇼

No. People Impacted

680

School hours reclaimed

272,000

Kits distributed

680

Partners
About

Why is this important?

Students without access to sustainable menstrual products miss 3-5 school days per month. This means up to 65 days per year, or nearly 20% of the school year, is lost to a lack of access to necessary products.

This is a major hindrance to education — a significant driver of prosperity for individuals and their wider communities.

Reusable and locally sourced or produced menstrual kits can be made for as little as $7 / £5 per student. Each kit lasts up to 2 years and can reclaim up to 1000 hours of lost school time for a single student.


What we're doing about it

We've set up this initiative to positively transform the relationship students and communities have regarding menstruation and reclaim necessary education time to benefit students and their wider communities.


How we'll do it

We will work with communities, schools, organisations, and individuals to disseminate education about menstruation and deliver reusable menstrual kits to girls across Africa and the Caribbean.

Phase 1: Immediate Action

  1. Our impact partners will engage schools, education, and communities in discussions and education about menstruation.

  2. Local sewists will produce kits that are accurately sized for girls.

  3. Our impact partners will deliver kits to girls and ensure aftercare.

Phase 2: Scaling and Innovation

  1. We will digitise learning and education material so it can distributed widely.

  2. We will engage researchers and material scientists in our community to address sustainability challenges.

  3. We will engage entrepreneurs both locally and in our community to form scaleable or commercially viable solutions to period poverty.


Impact

Undertaking this initiative will, increase school attendance and educational outcomes, empower students and women in their communities, foster long-term economic and social benefits through improved education, and change attitudes / reduce the stigma surrounding menstruation

An approach which combines immediate relief with long-term, sustainable solutions.

Updates

From the field

We're expanding this initiative into Zimbabwe 🇿🇼

Posted by Jermaine

Posted 19 July 2024

We’re currently voting to expand this initiative in Zimbabwe in collaboration with the Daises Foundation.

If the proposal passes, we’ll deliver health education and reusable kits to 175 girls across 2–3 schools in Kwekwe.

As schools are currently closed, August will focus solely on training local women in Ruwa to create the kits. Distribution of the kits will commence in September once students are back in school.

480 girls in Kenya have now received their kits

Posted by James Musyoka

Posted 22 June 2024

For the last two weeks, the local moms and our team have been busy making, training, and distributing reusable sanitary pads for the two remaining schools, Makaalu Primary and Mwaasua Secondary Schools.

A total of 61 kits were issued to students at both schools. We are very excited to report that 480 girls have now been trained on menstrual hygiene and issued reusable menstrual kits! All the seven targeted beneficiary schools have been fully trained and issued with sanitary kits. They include:

  1. Nunga Primary School - 35 girls

  2. Wamunyu ABC Primary School - 31 girls

  3. Makaalu Secondary School - 34 girls

  4. Kilembwa Secondary - 289 girls 

  5. Mbuini Primary School- 30 girls

  6. Makaalu Primary School – 31 girls

  7. Mwaasua Secondary School – 30 girls

During our training and distribution schedules, the students have expressed great gratitude for the kits. Faith, a student at Mwaasua Secondary School, commented:

“I am humbled and excited to receive the kit; I will not be stressed anymore on what to use during my period. Sometimes, I was praying that my period skips when I am in school because I don’t have sanitary pads.’

The local moms making the reusable sanitary kits did an outstanding job! They are also very grateful for the project and its impact on young girls in the community. Miriam, one of the moms making the kits, commended.

‘I am happy that the parents of the girls who receive the wings Poa won’t struggle to buy synthetic sanitary pads and that money can instead be used to buy food for the family.  I am proud of making the Wings Poa because I know girls won’t miss school and won’t have challenges getting sanitary pads.

As we wind up the training and distribution of kits to students in the seven targeted schools, we wish to thank Kwanda supporters for your great generosity, which is making a big difference among school girls in our community.They will now attend school regularly without period interruptions. Long live Kwanda!

419 girls in Kenya have now received their kits

Posted by James Musyoka

Posted 10 June 2024

One month after receiving the Kwanda grant, we are excited to share that 419 girls have been trained and issued with reusable sanitary pad kits.

So far, 5 schools out of 7 targeted schools have been fully trained and issued with the kits. They include:

  1. Nunga Primary School - 35 girls

  2. Wamunyu ABC Primary School - 31 girls

  3. Makaalu Secondary School - 34 girls

  4. Kilembwa Secondary - 289 girls and

  5. Mbuini Primary School- 30 girls

The training and distribution of the reusable pad kits last month at Makaalu Secondary coincided with International Menstrual Hygiene Day! It was a day of celebration for these girls to receive their kits and regain a sense of dignity. During the training and distribution of the kits at the respective schools, our team listened to students who expressed great gratitude for the kits. Here are a few comments from the girls.

During my periods I used to fake illness so that I could stay at the dormitory because I didn't have sanitary pads. I was using cut out materials from kanga fabric and they would often leak. Now with the kit, I will be able to attend classes without fear of leakage. Mercy, Kilembwa secondary

I’m happy to receive my kit. For now, I will not be sharing the sanitary pads with my sister since my mother used to buy just one pack for both of us to share. Ann, Mbuini Ps

Local women sewing menstrual for additional income

Posted by James Musyoka

Posted 3 June 2024

Our maker space has been intensively assisting local mothers in sewing and producing the kits.

The sewing initiative is providing a steady income to these women. Elizabeth one of the women commented:

I am happy and enjoying making the kits. I can now get money from making the kits and ‘am not dependent on casual jobs. Through making the kits, I am able to start poultry farming

A thank you message to Kwanda villagers on world menstrual hygiene day

Posted by Jermaine

Posted 28 May 2024

I received this lovely video recording from the girls at Makaalu Secondary School this afternoon.

67 girls have received their kits

Posted by James Musyoka

Posted 27 May 2024

Our team has identified 7 schools whose girls shall benefit from the sanitary pads: Nunga Primary School, Wamunyu ABC Primary School, Mbuini Primary School, Makaalu Primary School, Kilembwa Secondary School, Makaalu Secondary School and Mwaasua Secondary School

So far, the team has administered surveys on menstrual sanitary hygiene at Nunga Ps, Wamunyu ABC Ps, Mbuini Ps, Kisinzini Ps, Makaalu Sec and Kilembwa Secondary School. This survey was administered to all the girls at puberty to collect essential information on menstrual hygiene, which, in turn, informs the girls about the training. After collecting the survey data, our team analyzed the data and conducted workshop training at two schools, Nunga PS and Wamunyu ABC Ps, focusing on general menstrual hygiene, usage and product maintenance.

After the training, our team issued 36 girls from Nunga Ps and 31 girls from Wamunyu ABC Ps with a kit each. So far 67 girls have benefited. The full kit contains 10 liners, 3 shields, a pulse, a drawstring bag and a pantie.

We're able to produce 80 additional kits for girls!

Posted by Jermaine

Posted 23 May 2024

This morning, I received an update from James, the project lead in Kenya who's overseeing the delivery of menstrual kits to 400 students.

The material for the kits was purchased last week, and we found enough fabric to produce an additional 80 kits, so we'll now be providing kits to 480 students in total .

The final 100 girls in Ghana received their reusable menstrual kits

Posted by Jermaine

Posted 18 May 2024

Last week, the Akaya team met with girls from 12 different schools to carry out health workshops and distribute kits, concluding this initiative in Ghana. Here are photos from the day.

Delivering 400 more kits to girls in Kenya

Posted by Jermaine

Posted 13 May 2024

Our villagers just passed a vote to expand this initiative by funding health education and reusable kits for 400 students in Kenya.

We'll leverage our established relationship with the community and schools in Wamunyu, Kenya, and once again hire local sewists to create the kits.

Following a successful project in Ghana - this will bring the total number of kits delivered to 600.

The day is over, and the second school is wrapped

Posted by Maud Ama Fugar

Posted 5 April 2024

The final distribution of the day has concluded. To summarise:

  • 200 girls in Dunkwa received the education sessions and resources containing disposable pads, pens, pencils, body soap, and hand sanitisers.

  • 100 menstruating girls across the two schools received sustainable menstrual kits. The remaining 100 will be for the Shai girls next month.

  • School teachers from both schools also joined the workshops when delivered to be informed.

  • Formal training will be implemented for the Shai educators next month.

The students providing post-session feedback

Posted by Jermaine

Posted 5 April 2024

Both students and teachers are encouraged to provide feedback on the sessions so the facilitators can improve upon future workshops and sessions.

Pictured here are the students carrying out the post-session feedback.

The Akaya team arriving at the second school

Posted by Jermaine

Posted 5 April 2024

The team is now arriving at the second school for the day, after concluding the first half of the day.

First school of the day complete

Posted by Jermaine

Posted 5 April 2024

The facilitators wrapped up at the first school of the day and distributed menstrual kits to all the female menstruating students.

Photographs of the health education sessions

Posted by Khadija Owusu

Posted 5 April 2024

Here are some photographs on the students and facilitators in session:

Nafisat delivering a session on consent and safe touch

Posted by Jermaine

Posted 5 April 2024

Our fellow Kwanda villager and trained psychotherapist Nafisat delivered a session to the girls on consent and safe touch.

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