WordPress database error: [Unknown column 'annotations' in 'field list']
INSERT INTO `wp_defender_lockout` (`id`, `ip`, `status`, `lockout_message`, `release_time`, `lock_time`, `lock_time_404`, `attempt`, `attempt_404`, `meta`, `annotations`) VALUES ('', '3.237.66.86', 'normal', '', '', '', '', '0', '', '[]', '[]')

Breaking the Cycle | The School of St Jude

Breaking the Cycle

Our students are soaking up the stigma of menstruation, one reusable pad at a time!
Our students are soaking up the stigma of menstruation, one reusable pad at a time!
Our students are soaking up the stigma of menstruation, one reusable pad at a time!

Imagine being a young female, whose life comes to a standstill each month because she lacks access to feminine hygiene products.

This is a reality for around 85% of Tanzanian schoolgirls between the ages of 11-19. A number of trailblazing St Jude’s students are working to change that statistic. 

The courageous girls were inspired to make reusable pads for their Science Fair project.

Kilimba, Veronica and Zamda, with a number of their peers, decided to take on the challenging task after attending a seminar and meeting like-minded students from other schools. 

“There were girls at the seminar who had made pads on a tailoring machine. We asked our teachers if we could do the same thing,” Kilimba said. 

“Some people use kanga (soft material) when their period comes, but it is uncomfortable and not hygienic. The girls in the villages sit on ash or stiff porridge while they have their periods. They cannot do any activities and they miss out on school. They sit on the ash or porridge until the period goes away,” she shared. 

Not just women's business:  The students presented their project at Science Fair.
Not just women’s business: The students presented their project at Science Fair.

The students’ washable, durable pads are made from common household items. 

“We had two pieces of cloth, we cut them in the shape of the sanitary pads and used plastic to make sure it doesn’t leak. Then, we put part of an old mattress or some cotton wool in the middle and we sewed it together,” Veronica explained. 

Empathy and compassion compelled the young women to design a product which would benefit girls in village communities. 

“We care because we feel sad that girls can’t go to school when they are on their period. And, we just imagine – who could that person become if she had the chance to sit a national examination? That’s why we made the pads,” Kilimba, Veronica and Zamda agreed. 

Marvellous mentor: Ms Pendo's been inspiring students like Dorice for years. Dorice intends to become a gynecologist.
Marvellous mentor: Ms Pendo’s been inspiring students like Dorice for years. Dorice intends to become a gynecologist.

School Registrar, Girls’ Affairs and Character Management Mistress, Ms Pendo, appreciates her students’ bravery and willingness to tackle a taboo cultural issue. 

“This is a girls’ issue and Kilimba thought more deeply about it. When we get our first periods, our mothers tell us we are grownups and that we must stay away from boys. This is the only information most girls receive. There are cultural boundaries,” Ms Pendo said. 

Students at St Jude’s are grateful for the support of staff like Ms Pendo, who give them knowledge and advice and encourage girls to ask questions. Ms Pendo also works with the school nurses to provide sanitary items to students who need them. 

“We are comfortable because at least we know how to look after ourselves and we can grow in confidence and perform academically at St Jude’s,” Zamda said. 

Kilimba's cause: A wish to help disadvantaged girls motivated Kilimba to take on the project.
Kilimba’s cause: A wish to help disadvantaged girls motivated Kilimba to take on the project.

Indeed, the students know that knowledge is power. 

“We want to find support and go to villages where people can’t afford pads.

We will give away our reusable pads and visit churches, schools and families to provide knowledge,” the students claimed. 

“It’s really important to give knowledge instead of money. For this issue, it is better to give education. Education can help people.” 

St Jude’s supporters who are Fighting Poverty Through Education, empower students like Kilimba, Veronica and Zamda to do the same for others. You too can become a sponsor and help us break the cycle of poverty. 

Share this story:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

To make sure parcels arrive and incur no expenses for the school

  • Please do NOT register or insure any mail as it costs the school at least USD $25 in taxes at our end.
  • Mark all parcels as being “second-hand goods” or “personal gifts”.
  • Ensure the description of goods written on the parcel matches the actual items inside as customs and postal staff frequently inspect contents of parcels.
  • Please label all parcels clearly with the first and last name of the recipient and your full name.
  • Please put the value of the package at no more than US$10 (the lower the better).
  • Ensure that your parcel is LESS THAN 2KG. We have been advised that parcels less than 2KG are technically tax-free regardless of content, but this is not guaranteed by all postal workers.
 

Tax-free items include books, personal goods and anything that is not new. Used goods, used clothes, etc…(please remove labels and packaging from all items before sending them)

Keep in mind that parcels sent by airmail can take up to four months to get here (sea mail is even longer – often 12+ months!), so don’t worry if it takes a while for us to let you know the parcel has arrived.