The Pad Project

Posted Mar 17, 2012 by 4 Comments

It’s time! After years of conversations, research, prayer and planning, ZanaAfrica is moving forward in their plan to help empower the girls of Kibera slum in Nairobi and beyond. The Pad Project is underway!

Girls living in Kibera slum deserve the opportunity to go to school and benefit from an education, but the obstacles associated with poverty sometimes get in the way. For hundreds of thousands of young women in Kenya, their monthly period causes them to miss more than six weeks of school a year because they don’t have pads. Research shows that sanitary pads and health education can reduce absenteeism by 75%.

So what’s being done about it?

Last summer, I headed into Kibera on the heels of the ZanaA staff to learn about their efforts firsthand. The ZanaA team works to educate and empower girls in several schools in Kibera, teaching them important lessons about health, self-esteem and sex education. They also receive monthly supplies of pads so they can attend as much school as possible.

But ZanaA’s vision stretches beyond Kibera and beyond Kenya—they want to make sanitary pads accessible for girls throughout East Africa. For years, ZanaA has been developing an eco-friendly, affordable pad that can be manufactured locally. They’ve received help from business and marketing professionals, scientists and the girls of Kibera themselves, and now—after years of work—they’re ready to launch the Pad Project.

Are you ready to be a part of empowering the young women of East Africa? The time is now! ZanaA needs your help to set their plan in motion. ZanaA needs $25,000 by April 15th to test their sanitary pad – which includes production, distribution and evaluation costs.

If you’re interested in supporting a long-term, sustainable solution to injustice that hinders millions of bright young girls in East Africa, the Pad Project can use your support. Please help the Pad Project…and ask your friends to help as well!

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About the Author: Laura is a journalism fellow with World Next Door. She graduated from the University of Arizona, Tucson with a degree in Animal Sciences and a minor in Spanish. She is constantly learning, making friends, dancing, and trying to understand her role in alleviating the suffering of others. Laura also attracts a lot of awkward situations.

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  1. JimM said... 


    March 19th, 2012 at 5:21 am  

    Hey Laura, thanks for reminding us of this, and taking us back to Nairobi. I clicked on the link above and it looks like the fundraising is only 1/3 to goal as of now. I would encourage your readers to post a link to this story on their Facebook page to continue to move the story along. April 15th is fast approaching.

    • Laura Stump said... 


      March 23rd, 2012 at 6:27 pm  

      Thanks, Jim! I’ll do my best to spread the word.

  2. joanna said... 


    March 20th, 2012 at 9:48 am  

    Are these reusable cloth pads or disposable?

    • Laura Stump said... 


      March 23rd, 2012 at 6:34 pm  

      Hello Joanna! These are disposable pads, but they’re made with a biodegradable byproduct.

      The reusable pad idea is a bit tricky–for many people living in areas like Kibera slum, “sanitation” can be very difficult…and if a reusable pad isn’t properly washed, it can cause health problems.

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