Fighting Menstrual Poverty
3000€ = One Equipped Workshop Our Goal ? 10 !
My name is Maja Kotala and I am the founder of the educational program called Sewing Together, which aims to support women in East Africa in their pursuit of independence by learning sewing, design and the basics of running a business. Our activities are mainly sustainable fashion, but also the fight against menstrual poverty.
What is Menstrual Poverty ?
Menstrual poverty is a global problem that affects women around the world. In East Africa, it has two dimensions. First - many women cannot afford to buy sanitary pads. Second - the sanitary pads are simply not there.
Formative research shows that girls face monthly challenges, with 65% of women and girls in Kenya unable to afford sanitary pads. A packet of sanitary pads costs $1. Around 36% of Kenyans, however, live on less than the international poverty line of $1.90 per day. In rural areas, many girls use unsanitary forms of protection such as pieces of materace, feathers and grass leafs causing infections and painful sores. Lack of proper education around menstruation makes some girls exchange dirty sanitary pads and some even to engage in sexual intercourse to buy basic hygiene products to fight for their future.
In rural Kenya, 2 out of 3 pad users receive pads from sexual partners.
Victoria Rally - Lake Victoria
Thanks to generosity of our sponsors and our crowdfunding campaign Victoria Rally - Lake Victoria happened with a bug success.
Victoria Rally, or 39 days, during which we fought menstrual poverty in East Africa: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania by creating and equipping sewing places where 3-day training on sewing reusable sanitary pads and sex education classes were held. We managed to train 860 women, distribute 100 sets of sanitary pads , set up and equip 10 mini sewing places, distribute more than 1,500 needles and 150 pairs if underwear .
Our classes include both hand and machine sewing. Hand sewing is especially important because literally anyone can do it, even if they have no experience. In East Africa, we have many bushes which thorns also work well as needles– all you need to do is sharpen a bit and burn a hole. Instead of thread, you can use sisal fibers.
Seeing the positive impact that the Victoria Rally had on the local community, I would like to repeat it next year. And here I need your help again! Together we can change the world for the better!
Itinerary : Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi
Dates : March/April 2024
!! We are expending our expertise and expending sexual education with knowledge about healthy pregnancy and childbirth !!