Development Enterprise Update: Tina Pads
One out of ten Malawian girls miss school 3 to 4 days every month because of menstruation. Menstrual products (disposable pads and cups) are too expensive for most families who live on less than $1 per day. These girls stop going to school during their cycles because they don't have proper sanitation materials.
Trinitas Mhango personally experienced these hardships. In March 2016, she participated in Flame Tree Initiative's Development Entrepreneurship Lab (DELab) to launch Tina Pads. Tina Pads is a social enterprise dedicated to supporting adolescent girls in Malawi to stay in school by delivering reproductive health education and reusable sanitary pads.
Today, Tina Pads continues to partner with Flame Tree Initiative to receive operational support. Through this partnership, Tina Pads successfully secured a grant from Greater Good to help with its start-up costs and produce pad packs to be distributed to girls across Malawi.
So far this year, Tina Pads has distributed 4,900 pads to 700 girls.
One of the distributions took place in the Chitipa district, one of the poorest areas in Malawi. Chitipa is hard to reach as it sits at the very southern tip of the country. Because of its remote location, it is frequently left out of services normally provided to places that are closer to the three main Malawian cities.
After a 13-hour drive to Chitipa district, Tina Pads staff were welcomed by 200 girls at Kameme Primary School who were eager to receive the pads. Their excitement and gratefulness were perfectly captured in the photos that Trinitas shared with us.
In addition to Chitipa district, Tina Pads also distributed pad packs in Blantyre - a peri-urban area with high dense slums and extreme poverty.
Currently, Tina Pads is in the process of increasing its productions. The social enterprise has identified 5,000 needy students in the following areas: Karonga, Mzimba, Dowa, Ntchisi, Lilongwe rural, Mangochi, Dedza , Nsanje, and Blantyre.
On behalf of Trinitas, Flame Tree Initiative extends its thanks to Greater Good, as well as all the individual donors who have supported Tina Pads achieve its mission.