Ruramai’s Summer Project

My name is Ruramai Chivasa. I am a 19 year old Zimbabwean girl, currently in my last month of studying in the UK, on a scholarship from Pestalozzi International Village Trust.
I have made it my goal to make 1000 reusable sanitary towels for disadvantaged girls in Zimbabwe.

On International Women’s Day this year, March 2018, I attended a conference at Pestalozzi and was inspired by a woman named Geraldine, who spoke about several projects in Uganda she is currently running. One of these projects is making re-usable sanitary pads for girls who cannot afford to buy them. This means they have had their education compromised because they are unable to attend school for days at a time. I did some research and discovered the same applied to many girls in Zimbabwe; reports show statistics of 62% of girls don’t go to school during their period. So, at the conference I said to myself ‘If not me then who?’

I set a goal to do everything I could to help those girls with any resources I could get.

My plan is to make reusable sanitary pads and donate them to girls who cannot afford them, starting with those from my village in Gokwe. Not only do I want to supply them with the sanitary wear, but also to teach them the trade where they could make an extra allowance from selling them to those who can afford to buy them.

This project will be set up in September 2018 and will run during my gap year, but I plan to establish it as a small organisation so that it continues to run even after I go to university. I have the desire, the motivation and the drive to get this project off the ground, but I am lacking the financial resources and support.

The costs that need to be covered include buying two sewing machines, materials to make the 4 layers of the sanitary pads (nylon, cotton, towelling and fleece), transportation costs to and from remote areas and paying electricity bills (electricity is quite expensive in Zimbabwe).

I have created an achievable plan of employing 2 women to make 600 pads over the course of 2 weeks. I will make the other 400.

The pads will be given to those who cannot afford to buy them and sold to those who can. The profits will be used to pay those making the pads and anything left over will be put back into making more pads.

This is such a worthwhile project – My thanks to all who have made donations to help me achieve my goal so far.

Thank you!

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