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Back to pads

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By sarahforde - Posted on 18 February 2010

Our goal was (and maybe still is?) a simple one: make affordable sanitary pads available to more girls in East Africa, starting with Kilifi in coast province, Kenya.  That is where MTG is based and that is where we have seen the problem of girls feeling embarrassed, shy, uncomfortable and hindered when they have their periods becuase they cannot afford to buy sanitary pads.  Instead they use cloth, cotton wool, pieces of mattress or anything they can find to soak up the blood.  It impacts on their school and home lives and it also stops some of them from playing sport.  That is why we decided to try to do something about this, backed by one of our most supportive long term donors, the Ford Foundation.  Through Ford MTG linked with T4T (www.T4Tafrica.com) in Uganda to see whether we could produce and distribute the sanitary pads patented by T4T, MakaPads.  And this is what we are currently working on: a business plan to see if we can do this as a social enterprise.  Through being a member of the streetfootballworld network MTG has enlisted the help of a team of Sony Graduates who will apply their business skills to help us develop this plan.  We had an initial meeting in the UK in January and over the next few months they will help MTG look at the alternatives and vaible options as we try to achieve our goal: to make affordable sanitary pads available to more girls.  The goal is simple but the solution is complex - that's why we are using all the help we can get from people with different skills to try and set up a viable social enterprise which has the potential to increase the income of young women and girls (as rural salespeople) and allow girls to menstruate with a little more dignity than they currently do. Will keep you posted.

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