StartHer in Health
A key barrier to girls education in the developing world is a lack of access to basic menstrual health management. Girls often drop out of school during their periods, missing up to 4 days of school every 4 weeks. In South Africa, this issue is particularly prevalent. 1/3rd of girls in South Africa report dropping out of school during menstruation. The implications on their futures are severe. WildHearts Foundation Africa is committed to addressing this problem. To date, we have manufactured and distributed over 50,000 reusable pads to schoolgirls between ages 9-18 from low SEM (Socio-Economic Measure) areas, vulnerable to period poverty. Every step of the process from production to distribution empowers local South African Women and girls.
Our reusable sanitary pads are distributed in packs of 5. They are made from five layers of padding, including an antimicrobial layer for hygiene purposes and an absorbing layer for heavy flow. The industry is currently dominated by single-use products that are non-recyclable. However, our re-usable sanitary pads can be used for up to 5 years and are driving the development of sustainable products that are better for our environment. The design of the pad is now going through its 3rd iteration to ensure ultimate comfort and performance, particularly for girls in rural schools with limited access to bathroom facilities.
Distribution – The Document Warehouse (TDW)
By reimagining the infrastructure that is already in place, WildHearts has developed a partnership with The Document Warehouse (TDW), “our document management enterprise” we are able to distribute reusable sanitary pads to girls in the hardest to reach areas of Southern Africa. The pads are distributed by TDW delivery fleet, who make use of latent capacity in their vehicles as they collect documents from customers across the country. The success of this initiative has resulted our partners, Old Mutual Insure, being recognised as a finalist in the CSR category of the World Procurement Awards – one of the most celebrated and sought-after awards in procurement.
Mbombela, South Africa
The factory in the province of Mpumalanga is our 1st franchise and will play a vital role in scaling the initiative and expanding our impact. It is run by a female entrepreneur, providing valuable training and employment opportunities for at-risk women and girls, 80% of whom are on the Government Social Grant System. Through the continued support of our customers and partners, we plan to expand into neighbouring countries.
Support the Initiative
You and your organisation can support this initiative by:
• Purchasing packs of pads to be donated to vulnerable girls.
• Partner with us to help sponsor the incubation of a factory in another region.
For more information contact:
Director, WildHearts Foundation Africa
+27 82 330 5965
Download our Brochure for further information