Adventures with Sewing Machines
The pad kits from Together for Better are ready in Nairobi and will be going out to vulnerable schoolgirls in Kwale, Kisumu, and hopefully Benin! Voices of Africa Foundation ordered these first lovely pads to help to create satellite branches where girls can learn to make pads in partnership with Together for Better. To kickstart the learning process, VOA sent Ali Bwengo, our Site Manager for Kwale and Mombasa, to Nairobi to learn how to make pads with Aruna Varsani. Our joint objective is that no girl should miss school due to a lack of pads for her periods
Ali had a great time and was able to learn the first steps on how to make the pads. He was keen and excited to learn about the two types of sewing machines used in the process. When asked what we should tell the world about the pads, he wrote:
The Benefits of Reusable pads are:
1. The most important benefit of reusable cloth pads is that it is ‘reusable’. They are made of biodegradable and environment-friendly materials. This creates considerably less overall waste compared to disposable products.
2. They can last for several days and months and are thus pocket-friendly.
3. If used properly, they’re more comfortable, skin-friendly, and less likely to cause allergic reactions/rashes in comparison to synthetic napkins. You can avoid exposing your intimate region to chemicals used in disposable sanitary napkins and tampons. Soft and breathable materials used to make these pads also prevent smells in the intimate area.
4. Reusable cloth pads are customizable in terms of thickness and size. Hence, they can be more comfortable to wear.
5. They’re less likely to cause toxic shock syndrome (TSS, a condition usually caused by wearing tampons and keeping them in for too long, as result of which bacteria enters the bloodstream and can lead to death)
At VOA we believe in learning and doing as growing and we are proud of what we are building through this partnership. Women and girls need sustainable solutions for healthcare and support to stay in school. With Together for Better, we are providing the technical solutions to reach a greater number of people in Kenya and beyond.