Last fall, Johnson & Johnson joined Lwala Community Alliance for a new partnership, titled the Girls Education and Pads Program. In this program, all girls in classes 6-8 in 13 local primary schools receive a pad kit that includes reusable sanitary pads, underwear, soap, and information on sexual and reproductive health. Distribution of the pad kits began this week in Lwala. Thanks to Johnson & Johnson, over 400 female students in Classes 6-8 received pad kits this week, and approximately 350 more girls will receive kits in the coming weeks.
Lwala’s New Vision Women’s Sewing Cooperative Group manufactured the kits. The sewing group members were also trained in pad care and menstruation education. As a result, members of the sewing cooperative were able to teach girls about menstruation and hygiene during the distribution.
The goals of the program are to increase school attendance and completion for girls, knowledge of sexual and reproductive health of the girls receiving the kits, and the annual earnings of the women in the sewing group due to the increased production of manufacturing the kits.
One student, Cindy, shared with the staff: “I am very happy. Because of the hardship some parents are going through they are unable to buy even one pair of panties for their daughter. This makes the daughter vulnerable to seek assistance from other sources like motor bike riders, who could give girls a little money for either a panty or a sanitary towel. Later the girl pays back by having sexual intercourse in exchange. These activities expose the girl to risky situations of unintended pregnancy which may lead to teen pregnancy, early marriages or HIV/STI infection that is dangerous.”
The female students found the information on sexual and reproductive health to be very helpful.
Diana, a Class 8 student from Kuna Primary School, shared her thoughts after receiving her pad kit today: “I am very confident, I am sure of 100% school attendance. No more shame of blood staining my uniform while in school, hence I’ll have active participation resulting in good academic performance. I would like to become a doctor that is why I want to get good marks to join a better secondary school and later proceed to university. As a doctor I will help young girls in my community realise their dreams and also fight for human rights. Thank you for giving girls the opportunity to follow their dreams.’’
Thank you, Johnson & Johnson!
You can help us sustain our existing programs and roll out further initiatives by making a donation now.