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!
Our Days for Girls enterprise has been super busy since we started sewing in the new year!
We are fulfilling orders of more than 100 kits per month and have 3 tailors working.
We were fortunate enough to have a site visit from the our Ugandan headquarters to check on quality and operations. We also had our amazing donor Alexa come to visit along with Diana from Days for Girls Advocacy in the International branch.
Finally we had a Tanzanian Days for Girls Workshop where we got to meet the other awesome women making washables, learn more about DfG and menstrual health at a global level, and discuss our Tanzania specific issues, challenges and successes.
The most exciting is that we had our FIRST distribution to a group of grade 5-6 students right here in Mto wa Mbu!
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!)
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.
Wow, what a great week we spent with the Days for Girls Team from Uganda! Dennis and Azam made the long journey overland to come visit us in Tanzania, to teach our tailors how to make the pad kits and provide women’s health and business leadership training to the team.
So proud of us all, and everyone feels that our Ngorongoro enterprise is set up to be very successful!
We are ready to start producing!! Now we will be looking for donors to fund kits that we can then distribute to communities (rural villages, school children, and hospitals)
Contact us directly if you are interested in being involved, or kits can be ordered through the Days for Girls website too!