Her Education Matters Project Update
The project has begun!
We were able to begin the project very quickly thanks to Think Malawi's initial donation of £1000. These monies have allowed us to begin to equip girls during menstruation so that they no longer feel that they have to miss school for 5 days each month.
Images above, clockwise from left:
- These two girls have finished school now, but have helped by being in a short video.
- Mothers in the office at the school with the sewing machines.
- Wezia looking around for the girls washroom, which isn't there yet
- Beneficiaries, the education project manager and the supportive headmaster.
What has happened so far?
We're off to a fast start thanks to the many people from the community who are involved in the project. The Headmaster at M'Teza school has allocated an office for the trainees. The sewing machines have been bought and transported to the school. And, the Mothers are now able to develop their skills in making reusable pads.
The Mothers' Group for M'Teza School chose two mothers to begin the manufacturing of the sanitary products. These two Malawian ladies have already been on two training sessions. One training session was to learn to use the sewing machines. The ladies started on hand operated machines, and soon upgraded to treadle machines. A further training explained the selection of fabrics, cutting out patterns and making up the pads. Cutting out patterns is an important part of the production process to ensure quality is maintained.
The Education Project Manager, Wezia Gwaluka, is being funded to manage the project in Malawi. She has already spoken to some of the girls about their current menstruation management and introduced the alternative of reusable pads. Wezia also accompanied the Mothers on their training course, and at times provided translation.
She will have oversight of the project once Heather Palmer, CEO of our partner charity African Vision, has returned to England. Heather has been sourcing further supplies of fabric and other required sewing notions. Heather and Wezia have also negotiated a contract with the Mothers for their ongoing contribution to production of pads.
What will happen next?
While we've made excellent progress thus far, there is still much more to do and all involved are grateful for your support!
The Headmaster of M'Teza School will soon select a location for the girls washroom to be built. The build is planned for the dry season in August, and is an important part of the project to provide privacy and comfort to the girls.
Supplies of pads are beginning to be built up. The supplies will initially be available at the school and managed by a female teacher. Later, as further stocks are created, the plan is for Girls Kits to be assembled and given to the girls in the last four years of school.
Heather and Wezia have one more visit to make to M'Teza school to talk to some of the senior girls about the project. We hope to share further news soon about their visit!
The current final year schoolgirls in Standard 8, have now taken their school leaving exam and have left school. They have had the experience of missing days of school but in four years there will be schoolgirls coming into Standard 4 who may never feel the need to miss school to manage menstruation. Once established, this project will continue to benefit each new cohort of schoolgirls.
How can I support the project?
Did you know that a generous donor has pledged to match all donations up to £1,000? We'd love if you could be a part of this match, and you can do so by donating here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/her-education-matters
This donor will also double donations made to our trustee Asif’s triathlon sponsorship page from 17 May to 26 July, up to a maximum of £500.
Another great way to support the project is by telling friends, family or colleagues about the project. Thank you for spreading the word!