September 2024

Health workshop and menstrual products for better opportunities in education

The topics of menstruation, feminine hygiene and women’s health are still taboo in many parts of Malawi. The Malawian government has however already taken measures to improve this. VAT on menstrual products has been abolished to make them more affordable. Access to them nevertheless remains a major problem, especially in rural areas. Hygiene products are either hardly available there or simply too expensive.

health workshop: raising awareness about women’s health

In order to counteract the lack of menstrual hygiene, the Christian-Liebig-Stiftung e.V. (CLS) is organizing a health workshop on the topic in September. Dr. Chisomo Tumeo will educate the girls about menstruation and female health. They will learn what they need to pay attention to when it comes to feminine hygiene, how they can prevent illnesses and how to be self-confident and not ashamed of their bodies. A central aspect will be that the scraps of cloth that many of them use during their period due to a lack of alternatives can lead to infections. The girls will be provided with sustainable cloth sanitary pads during the workshop in order to avoid them using scraps of cloth in the future and to protect their health.

These sanitary pads will enable the girls to continue to go to school during their period. Without access to proper hygiene products, many schoolgirls have to miss lessons during their periods as they are forced to stay at home during that time.

Gesundheitsworshop Frauengesundheit in Afrika

Health workshop to educate school girls on their health

educational opportunities for girls thanks to cloth sanitary pads

Locally made cloth sanitary pads designed by Liesbeth Verhelst, ALV – Design & Creative Studio

The sanitary pads will initially be distributed to 40 school girls in Mtakataka and 70 school girls at the Christian-Liebig secondary school. Every pupil will get five pads, which they can use for about three years. The use of these reusable cloth sanitary pads not only promotes the girls‘ health, but also significantly reduces the impact on the environment. Disposable products pose a major waste problem in Malawi, as rubbish is often incinerated. The cloth sanitary pads are an effective way of tackling this problem.

Local production for sustainable development

The sanitary pads are produced locally by Kibébé, an initiative that offers refugees in Malawi fair pay and vocational training opportunities. At a price of 4.50 dollars per pad, production is expensive, but the pads are sustainable and long-lasting.

The cloth sanitary pads are produced under the umbrella organisation of the There Is Hope Foundation, with whom CLS has already successfully implemented training projects such as training to be a plumber. This cooperation ensures that the entire value chain remains in Malawi and that the local economy is sustainably strengthened.

Support for refugees in Malawi

The Kibébé initiative offers refugees in Malawi the chance to earn an income and learn new skills. Many of these refugees survive on less than 4 dollars a month and have no legal way to find work. By producing cloth sanitary pads, they not only earn a fair wage but also receive training that opens up new prospects for them in the long term. This initiative therefore not only contributes to improving menstrual hygiene, but also to the social and economic integration of the refugees.

Your donation makes a difference

The health workshops and the production of the cloth sanitary pads are exclusively financed by donations. Your support makes a difference. Your donation will help to ensure that more girls in Malawi have access to hygienic menstrual products and that their education is no longer interrupted. Help us to improve these girls’ educational opportunities and to strengthen their health situation. Every donation makes a difference and brings us one step closer to giving these young women a better future.

Photos: Chisomo Tumeo, Rabson Mpinganjira, Kibébé.

Help us with your donation! Because education changes lives.

© 2024 by Christian-Liebig-Stiftung e.V. – Kindly supported by Hubert Burda Media.