No pads, no school: UNESCO has estimated that 1-in-10 African girls missed school during their period, which contributes to higher school dropout rates for some girls. Menstrual pads may be unavailable or unaffordable. According to the organization “Make Every Woman Count” girls' absenteeism drops from 4.9 days on average to 1.2 days per month when provided with pads.
So in 2014, we launched Serviettes SantéVie®, reusable, waterproof sanitary napkins, made of 100% cotton. They are made in our own sewing workshop in Dakar, the capital of Senegal using our own special design. Why reusable? On average girls can spend as much as $5 for a month’s supply of disposable pads. Our reusable Serviettes cost $10 and can be used for at least two years. So it is easy to see how much money girls save with this one time buy. More importantly this economical solution keeps them in school.
It provides an innovation to a social and health problem – it helps keep girls in school - and also offers a sustainable development and entrepreneurial solution for women.
Our goal is $5,000 that will be used primarily to buy the cotton and waterproof nylon to make the pads, pay the sewers and embark on a promotion campaign in Senegal. See our video below
Serviettes SantéVie works with established women’s coops and NGOs to distribute washable menstrual pads that will be sold by them to village girls and women, where there usually are no products available. The women have an income and provide an essential and healthy product to their peers.
Serviettes SantéVie provides a sustainable development and health solution and satisfies many aspects of social development:
* Creates jobs in Senegal
* Supports the local economy - most primary materials will be purchased in Senegal
* Provides an affordable and healthy option to replace the home made pads currently used by many girls
* Protects the environment by reducing contaminated waste production
* Allows for sustainable funding for the Foundation and its work in Senegal. The Fondation Sénégal Santé Mobile, a Revenue Canada registered nonprofit organization that provides maternal and child healthcare in Senegal, is developing the Project.
The main impact is that Serviettes SantéVie® offers girls and women a huge improvement over the status quo (pieces of non-absorbent material) and freedom of movement during the menstrual period. It also provides a business opportunity for women’s cooperatives that distribute the pads for us. The Serviettes are also part of the ecological movement, they do not produce waste.
All the proceeds from this project are used to support maternal and child care programs offered by the Fondation in rural Senegal.