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Reusable sanitary pad project

JAN – FEB 2021

In early 2021, we trained over 1,000 girls to make their own reusable sanitary pads. As part of this, a girls’ safe room was set up to offer a safe and comfortable place for girls on their period, equipped with sanitary pads, towels, pain killers, a bed, water and soap.

Background

Access to sanitary products, safe and clean spaces to use them, and the right to menstruate without shame or stigma is essential for anyone who menstruates. As well as the potential health risk of inadequate sanitary products, women and girls’ education, wellbeing and even entire lives can also be affected.

In December 2019, Rwanda announced a decision to remove VAT from sanitary products to make them more affordable. Despite this, many women and girls, especially those in rural areas, still struggle to access the correct products and education during their period.

Period poverty affects women and girls all over the world.

OUR INTERVENTION
Many adolescent girls miss school during their periods, with some even dropping out entirely. This project aimed to keep students in school by training over
1000 girls
to make their own sanitary pads.
  • Health and social workers also educated the girls on sexual health and hygiene, with a particular focus on reducing their risk of sexual transmitted infections, HIV and unintended pregnancies, as well as contraceptive methods available to them.
  • A girls’ safe room was set up to offer a safe and comfortable place to girls on their period, equipped with sanitary pads, towels, pain killers, a bed, water and soap.

During the course of the project, repairs needed in the safe room were identified, including replacing the water system for the bathroom and providing a bed and towels. We were able to support these refurbishments to the safe room to make it a more comfortable space for the girls. 

As part of the project, all the girls were tested for hepatitis at no extra cost.

1227 students

were trained to make their own reusable sanitary pads.

544 students aged between 9 and 13
683 students aged between 13 and 18

Safe Room Refurbishment

Before:

After:

“I am happy we have learnt to make reusable cloth pads, before I would hide and say I was sick because if I went to school or had chores, I would use old newspaper, foam or tissue paper. At least now I am more comfortable with the reusable cloth pads because I can’t afford disposable ones”

– By YANKURIJE Bibiane, S6 (18 year old)

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