By Anita Moyo and Ntombikayise Nyathi
TWENTY girls from Maphisa ward 11 in Matobo district gathered for a re-usable pad- making training organised by Hope for a Child in Christ (HOCIC), yesterday.
This training was conducted under the Sista-to-Sista initiative, hosted by Global Giving and facilitated by the Securing Rights Program (SRP), a HOCIC programme which established and monitors the Sista-to-Sista initiative.
The Sista-to-Sista initiative is a program under the Securing Rights Program of HOCIC that is meant to empower young women so that they make informed decisions with regards to their Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights. The programme also capacitates Sistas with skills such as detergent making, accessory craft such as earrings, necklaces, bracelets, bags and reusable pads.
“Re-usable pad-making is all about ensuring sustainable menstrual hygiene through the provision of training on the production and management of re-usable sanitary pads to adolescent girls and young women,” said the Global Giving Project Assistant, Bongiwe Ndimande. “We are doing this to end menstrual poverty,” she added.
HOCIC has been conducting re-usable pad making training since April 2019 and so far, HOCIC, through its other programmes has trained more than 300 girls to be trainers. Global Giving under HOCIC conducted its first training in 2019 where it equipped 19 Community Care givers and 2 school teachers with re-usable pad making skills and the second training furnished 31 girls and 6 women with the same skill. Cumulatively, Global giving has formulated a coterie of 78 people in re-usable pad making.
Girls were happy and relieved to learn how to make their own re-usable pads as most of the girls in this community did not have access to proper sanitary wear. They saw an opportunity to produce and sell re-usable pads to the community.
“Thank you for teaching us how to make re-usable pads. This is something we can work on as Sista-to-Sista girls and start a business of selling to other girls in our villages, if assisted with material,” said one of the Sistas.
Global Giving is an online crowd funding platform. On this platform HOCIC has been implementing the “Access to Sanitary wear to more than 1500 girls in Matobo” since November 2018. The project seeks to ensure that 1 000 girls and young women aged between 10 and 24 years from rural Matobo district do not miss school during their monthly menstrual period. This will be achieved through the provision of proper sanitary wear. This will also reduce their risk to vaginal infections and cervical cancer. The project envisions providing a dignity pack to the girls and young women in the district.
In January 2019 Global Giving was an active part in assisting 500 families and girls in Chimanimani affected by cyclone Idai. Girls received dignity packs that comprised of two packets of disposable sanitary pads, a bag to store the clean pads, five panties and a bar of soap.
“We will carry on with more trainings and with time even distribute re-usable pads to girls in Matobo and even in Bulawayo,” said Ndimande.
Hocic Zimbabwe is working on producing re-usable sanitary wear and more trainings are yet to be conducted across Zimbabwe.