Boma Africa has partnered with Days for Girls to start a new enterprise in Mto wa Mbu, Tanzania! It all started when an amazing woman had the idea to establish an enterprise that would supply pad kits to for every post partum mom at a nearby by hospital. The amazing Alexa is passionate about supporting Days for Girls (washable menstrual health pads) and FAME Africa (an outstanding NGO hospital in this area), so it was a perfect combination!
Days for Girls increases access to menstrual care and education by developing global partnerships, cultivating social enterprises, mobilizing volunteers, and innovating sustainable solutions that shatter stigmas and limitations for women and girls. In Tanzania many girls have no access to menstrual pads and miss school when they are menstruating. Many women cannot afford disposable pads and struggle to manage their menstruation with dignity. Days for Girls enterprises provide employment and access to income, washable menstrual pad kits, and women’s health education.
I first came to know Days for Girls when we were moving back to Tanzania and someone offered me 100 kits to bring and donate. Of course I said YES, and went online to learn more and to complete DfG’s Ambassador of women’s health training. After arriving in Mto wa Mbu I met a dynamic and skilled tailor, Harrieth, and we started making baby carriers, sleepsacs, and other mother and baby related items. Washable pads and diapers were on our list!
I am a registered midwife, so women’s health is totally my space. I was living in Tanzania and working at FAME as a clinical educator. When Alexa’s project idea came through it was a match made in Heaven in so many ways!
In the last 6 months the Boma Africa enterprise has employed 3 tailors in full time work, and 2 women’s health ambassadors on contract basis. The staff participated in a full week long training session on sewing, business, and menstrual health. We have established our business model and explored supply chain. We have delivered 140 washable pads kits to new mothers and another 160 kits to school aged girls. Recently we had the opportunity to attend a workshop with other enterprise leaders in Tanzania. It was amazing to collaborate, and learn more about the global movement for menstrual health solutions and the advocacy that is happening!
The Boma Africa Days for Girls enterprise has really hit the ground running and we have already provided menstrual health solutions to hundreds of girls and women. I couldn’t be prouder.
HUGE thanks to our generous donor, Alexa, FAME Africa, and Days for Girls for making this happen!
Lovetotraveljourney about Boma Africa
We were in Tanzania for 2 weeks and had the most amazing time of our lines! Our Boma experience was definitely EPIC, very professional and we were so well taken care of the whole time! The guides are each amazing – professional, knowledgeable and friendly! Boma took care of us from the airport right to our departure! Safaris, biking tours, walking tours, meeting a Maasai family, local painting day, hiking, zip lining,… each experience was absolutely amazing!
We stayed with a local family, which was the most amazing experience! The family we stayed have stolen our hearts, and we felt so at home with them.
We will definitely be back to Tanzania some day! Our experience was indescribably amazing!!! Thank you to all at Boma who made our experience so unforgettable!
Just wanted to share an update on our Days for Girls pads program!
Our tailors are doing a great job and are currently working on our first delivery for FAME hospital. Every postpartum Mum will get a kit to take home.
These pads are washable and can last up to 3 years. This is a great way to save money, and for many provides a solution for their periods, where they otherwise may have gone without.
We also had a second order from the amazing doulas at Wombs of the World. They ordered 45 kits and we distributed them to the postpartum moms at two government hospital in Karatu. Then nurses helped us to provide a little education on how to use the kits, and also on child spacing and contraception. It only took 1 day to give out all 45 kits. (That’s a lot of new babies!)
The weather is fine in Mto wa Mbu, hot spelled off with rain as we are into the short rainy season. We are looking forward to pilau and goat bbq on Christmas Eve!
2018 was full of projects and new adventures, and in 2019 we look forward to welcoming a passionate group of doulas, some avid mountain climbers, a high school group of adventurers, and a volunteer for the LK Kindergarten.
We will have our Boma la Mama sea container released by the end Jan 2019, and our Birth centre manager will be starting work in January as well. In April she has been sponsored to take a course in ultrasound, specialising in pregnancy, which may also lead to an ultrasound unit being donated to our centre. We are working hard at getting some grants and super grateful to our private donors that have made it possible to actually get Boma la Mama seeing patients in 2019.
Boma Handmade is flourishing with amazing products such as baby carriers, sleepsacs, baby clothes, nursing and maternity tops, baby slippers, and hand carved wooden toys. We are also making natural soap that has been really popular and barely has time to dry before it’s flying off the shelves. Most exciting we were chosen to open a Days for Girls enterprise at our workshop, which means we will be producing cloth pads for girls and women that can be washed and used over and over. Many go without any reasonable option when it comes to their feminine hygiene and miss school or suffer with nothing to wear or avoiding activities.
Boma Community School continues to run it’s LK Kindergarten class with happy students and our awesome teacher who has been with us since the beginning! We are working on some maintenance of the building, and hoping to get a new mural and new playground in 2019.
We also opened Tanzip Zipline Adventure, Tanzania’s first and only zipline in 2018, and the Mosquito Creek Cafe is launching on Christmas Eve! Karibu Sana!
Wishing a fun and safe holiday season and all the best in 2019!!
This is a very thorough article by CNN on the need to address menstrual hygiene in Tanzania. The timing is impeccable as we just launched our Days for Girls enterprise. In the west we are fighting tampon tax, here we are simply fighting for access to menstrual health products.
A package of pads (8pads) costs $1 or more. Many families only have $1 per day or less, and may have 4-5 menstruating women in the family. Food, rent, water, power, school fees, medical bills, a lot of items are higher on the priority list.
As you may have seen we are starting a DAYS FOR GIRLS enterprise at our Boma Handmade Workshop!
We are registered and awaiting our official training session in November. I have been interested in this program for many years and even completed my ambassador training in 2016. As luck would have it, FAME hospital has a donor that wants to make kits available to all their post partum Moms. This amazing donor has made it possible for us to have a little start up money, and even more amazing is the fact that we will have a regular contract to make up to 700 kits per year. This creates an actual job for a tailor and the kits will be reaching so many women!
As part of the program I will be reaching to potential donors and grants to purchase the kits that we can then gift to the community- such as at other hospital and schools for girls. More sales means more income for our tailors as well! Let me know if this interests you!
Our recent GOFUNDME campaign for Harriet has also made this possible as now she has an awesome sewing machine to use; without it the start up process would have been a little trickier!
A little bit about days for girls below:
OUR MISSION & VISION
We’re turning periods into pathways.
Days for Girls increases access to menstrual care and education by developing global partnerships, cultivating social enterprises, mobilizing volunteers, and innovating sustainable solutions that shatter stigmas and limitations for women and girls. Together, we’re creating a world with dignity, health, and opportunity for all.
Our movement has reached more than one million girls — and counting! With your help, we can reach Every Girl. Everywhere. Period.
It all starts with a DfG POD (Portable Object of Dignity), the basic unit Days for Girls Kit. PODs contain 1 waterproof shield and 2 absorbent liners. PODs are the seed for Micro-Enterprises, because they can be sold at an affordable price point, and women can add components in the future. Because DfG Kits last years, this is a timeline that works for many women. Days for Girls prioritizes using locally-available materials whenever possible.
The Supreme Days for Girls Kit is the deluxe version of a Kit, and what is made by our Chapters and Teams around the world.
You may notice that these Kits don’t look like traditional pads…and there’s a reason for that. The bright colors camouflage staining. The absorbent liners unfold to look like a washcloth, which allows women to wash and dry them outside in the sun without causing embarrassment. All of these design choices add up to a lasting, easy-to-care-for solution.
Summiting the world’ tallest free standing mountain in Tanzania
- Boma Africa will greet you up upon arrival at the airport or bus station
- You will stay the first night in Arusha at a comfortable B&B
- Your guide will come to welcome you and provide your mountain orientation
- Your guide will check your gear and packs to make sure your equipment is appropriate
- Sleep well the night before your climb!
- Early in the morning, after breakfast, your guide and crew will pick you up at your hotel
- Make sure to bring:
- your passport, or a photocopy of your passport for registration at the park
- Pocket money for last minute purchases such as batteries, chocolate bar, water, etc.
- Cash to tip your crew if desired
- Extra luggage can be stored at your hotel or the Boma Africa office (please arrange in advance)
- You will all leave Arusha and drive to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate for registration
- Depending on your route you may have a packed lunchbox, or your cook might serve a hot lunch before you start to trek
- Once registration is complete, you will begin walking slowly through the rainforest zone of Kilimanjaro!
- On most days climbers will walk between 7 and 15 km, taking from 4 to 9 hours.
- Pole Pole!! Slow steady climbing is the rule!
- The crew will provide you clean drinking water for each day
- You are expected to drink 3L of water each day, so your guide will remind you many times to take a rest and drink some water
- As you are trekking you are likely to be sharing the route will some other trekkers, and you will see porters making their way up and down the path
- Your guide will tell you about special plants, features of the mountain, and cultural anecdotes
- First thing in the morning, you will have a wakeup call from the crew, and they will provide you with soap and warm water to wash up.
- A full hot breakfast is served daily with tea and coffee.
- After breakfast and preparing, you and your guide will start the daily trek while the crew breaks camp
- Lunches on the mountain vary between packed lunchboxes and prepared hot lunches served at carefully chosen rest points along the route
- When you arrive at the next camp, you will be welcomed with a light snack and steaming hot tea and coffee
- Your crew will be busy setting up camp; you may feel like resting, or like helping out and setting up some tents! Karibu!
- You will be provided with warm water and soap to freshen up after a long day’s trekking.
- A delicious hot dinner is served every evening in the mess tent.
- Your guide will debrief with your group about the day’s hike, and let you know what to expect for the following day
- Going to bed early is common as climbers are tired, and the days start early. As sleeping disturbances are common at higher altitudes, it’s best to rest as much as possible. Even if you have trouble falling asleep, resting your body and mind will rejuvenate your energy.
- It is common to experience mild symptoms of altitude sickness as the days go on. LINK TO SAFETY->Click here to read more about altitude sickness.
Many routes require summiting at night, while there are few that lead you to the crater during daytime.
- After dinner you will rest for several hours
- Around 11 your guide will wake you up and you will have orientation over tea and biscuits
- You will begin the ascent around 12 am
- You will need all your warmest clothes, headlamp, any special snack, water and walking poles
- You can expect to feel a strong headache, you may vomit, and you will become extremely fatigued
- Making it to the summit around sunrise is common; after a quick celebration and photo session, you begin descending
- Usually you spend less than 15 minutes at Uhuru Peak
- You might ask your guide to take photos as you will likely be very cold, very tired, and may have some mild confusion due to altitude
- Communicate regularly with your guide
- Making it to the summit often takes every last bit of strength and mental determination you can muster!
Daytime Summit / Crater Camp Excursion
- If you are spending a night at the crater camp, you will make the climb from the preceding camp during the day
- Early the next morning (around 4 am) you will awaken and hike the final 2 hours to the summit- making it in time for sunrise.
- It is usual to get to the gate in the early afternoon. A celebratory lunch will be served with wine and beer (as per request)
- You will be presented your certificate of achievement, and have a chance to say thank you to your crew (this is the best time to give any tip to the crew). See FAQs – tipping + Expeditions Equal Payment Plan
- All Boma Africa expeditions end by participation in Boma Goes Green, our environmental improvement program.
- You will get to plant a monumental tree to commemorate your climb, while building a shaded garden in Moshi.
- Think of a name for your tree!
- You will be dropped off at your B&B in Arusha for a much deserved shower and rest!
- Boma Africa carefully plans your meals before your expedition
- Choosing top quality ingredients and providing a well-balanced diet on the mountain gives you the best chances of a successful healthy climb
- Meals are cooked and served inside a mess tent or mountain hut
- One of the side effects of altitude is loss of appetite and nausea. Don’t be surprised if you find it hard to eat- but please make the effort! Being well nourished is extremely important for your climb!
- Please advise in advance of any special dietary requests.
- Don’t hesitate to speak to your guide with any concerns regarding meals during your climb.
- A full hot breakfast is served with tea or coffee every day. It is common to have a variety of eggs, bread, sausage, porridge, pancakes, French toast and fruit.
- Lunch alternates between a variety of carefully packed lunchboxes, and hot lunches that are served along route.
- It is common to have boiled eggs, pasta or rice salad, chicken, fruit and vegetables, biscuits, fruit juice, simmered sauces with rice, and more.
- Always hot and appetizing, your dinners are prepared by your cook at the camp. It is common to have 3 courses: soup & bread, main course, and desert.
- You will have hot tea & coffee every morning and afternoon.
- There are “outhouses” or “longdrops” situated along the routes and near to camps. On some routes you are provided with a private portable toilet. (available on all routes at special request)
- You will be provided with toilet paper.
- There are no shower facilities on the mountain.
Socially Responsible Tourism in Tanzania
Excited to announce that we are planning to start a non profit business devoted entirely to the LK Kindergarten class.
It will be an animal husbandry project. We’ll start with 8 goats and 60 chickens. We’ll build them a nice shelter, and hire someone to care for them. They will live up the rift valley wall, at the Boma land. They will lay lots of eggs and have lots of babies!
An initial investment of $2500 should then generate apx. $2500 annually for the school. This will free up some Boma Africa funds for expansion, improvement, more toys, better playground,… oh my!