False names have been used to protect identities.
Aisha, 42Empowered through Sewing and Soap Making
One of the amazing things that has happened to HAFAI is being able to empower women with the knowledge and skills to make the kits and sell them to generate an income for their families. Aisha a 42 year old woman was excited to mention that she had never learnt any skill all her life as she was married off early at the age of 14. Now haven learnt sewing and soap making, she feels empowered and confident and is ready to transfer the knowledge she has garnered.
Lilian, StudentMenstrual Kit Beneficiary
When HAFAI visited a Junior Secondary School in a rural community in Abuja, we came across Lilian, a 15 year old student, who told us that when she started her menstruation, her elder sister whom she was staying with told her to use rags because she could not afford to buy her sanitary pads every month and also pay her school fees. Lilian said she told her elder sister that she cannot use rags for her menstruation so she wears two or three pants whenever she is menstruating and this affects her in school because she is constantly worried that her uniform will be soiled. She can barely concentrate fully in class or play with her friends. She was very excited to receive the menstrual hygiene kit and wished she could take an extra kit for her junior sister who had just began her period the month before.
Miss Sarah, School TeacherMenstrual Kit Beneficiary
Sarah, a female teacher with one of the Secondary Schools we once visited, who also received the menstrual kit confirmed that she now attends classes more often and teaches her students with more confidence. In the health clubs, girls are taught science and technology, how to make the kits, soap making and boys are taught how to make tippy taps (improvised taps) for hand washing.
When girls and women in rural communities are learning tailoring and soap making, it exposes them to basic science and mathematical principles, understanding measurements and proportions and also engineering principles and properties of machines further enhances their technological abilities. In a region where less than 2% of women and girls have had no education, this is a huge step towards learning to read and write. This new experience is life changing and gives them a sense of independence and the income from the sale of the kits helps them to tackle poverty in their homes.