The Community of Guanga has opened a first-of-its-kind program. The program allows girls who have graduated grade 10 or higher to register for a sewing class. In the class, the girls learn to sew reusable sanitary pads and provide them for free to nearby schools. This term, the girls have provided over 500 free pads to nearby schools.

sanitary pad production

The sanitary pads are reusable, making them both environmentally conscious and more cost-effective than their store-bought counterpart; relieving girls who otherwise would have no access to proper menstrual hygiene supplies.

Tigist, a high school graduate, had started university, but she found the environment uncomfortable and decided instead to come back home to Guanga. “After I signed up and started the training, I decided I wanted to be a designer,” says Tigist. The program student talked about how helpful the teachers were “They encourage our innovation, their teaching is my favorite part about the course.” Tigist emphasizes the importance of the program giving her a second chance after deciding university was not the right path for her. The student has big dreams, “I plan to start my own business locally, save my money and expand my clothing business from there” emphasizes Tigist. Although the program allows her to receive a job after graduation, she’s decided to go even further. The program does not just benefit her, “we are exemplary girls in our community, we show girls the importance of working together and acquiring work and skills. My parents and other girls are so supportive of us. Thank you imaigne1day for bringing this program to our community.”

sanitary pad production

The girls working in the pad-making facility with their teacher

Yirga, one of the program managers and incredible teacher thanks imagine1day for the idea, “the idea came from imagine1day, they provided training on making sanitary pads to some girls and we shared the idea and started the training from there” Yirga shared. The aim of the training goes beyond sanitary pads, the teachers aim to help the girls understand garment production to give them more work opportunities in the future. “The girls are excited to be here, they love supporting the schools, the number of girls enrolled, along with the production and demand has increased, we will produce 1,000 sanitary pads next term,” Yirga says proudly.

The program not only provides an opportunity for girls who have graduated but also increases the ability of girls who are in school to attend. Instead of paying for expensive pads, they are able to get them for free, allowing them to attend school during their monthly periods and further their education.