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!
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:
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.