Problem Addressed

The high school drop-out rate amongst young African girls is often due to the lack of adequate sanitary solutions. Without access to water, private toilets and sanitary products, many girls in East Africa decide to stay home from school during the duration of their period. By the end of the year, they will have missed approximately 6 weeks of classes, and often eventually drop out altogether.

Innovative Approach

Transformation Textiles uses leftover factory textiles to make an affordable, reusable, and accessible menstrual pad for women and girls in East Africa. The organization used human-centered design principles to make a product that female customers would want to purchase and would enjoy using. In order to drive widespread demand for this product, the social enterprise uses experiential marketing; they train local entrepreneurs in how to trigger behavior changes in the community through helping their audiences touch, feel, and see the need for the product. These local salespeople work on commission, further incentivizing them to promote widespread adoption of these menstrual pads.

Transformation Textiles Promo

Program Solution

Transformation Textiles produces Dignity Kits. In each kit, there are 2 pairs of underwear, 2 waterproof shields, 6 reusable pads, a bucket, soap, a draw string bag and finally a booklet explaining how to use and care for the products as well as understanding menstruation. They also partner with ZanaAfrica who contribute disposable pads to some of their kits.

Transforation Textiles also believes in a ‘value transaction’ model. They don’t simply give girls a free handout and kit. The girls attend an education session that teaches them about the changes in their bodies, how to use and care for their products and also self defense. Our kits last three years and provides girls the opportunity to stay in school and remain at work during their monthly cycle.

Recent stats show that once these issues are met, the drop-out rate decreases by 75%. By empowering and educating the girls through this model, the results are incredible. Educated girls marry later in life, have healthier children and earn 25% more income.