Name of Project: The Twende Initiative
Starting date of project: 2013
Femme International is committed to teaching females in developing countries about menstrual health and providing healthy & sustainable alternatives to traditional menstrual management. Schoolgirls in Kenya miss an average of 4 days of school each month due to their menstruation phases. In a lifetime, this can mean up to 5 years of education lost. Without access to feminine hygiene products, girls often resort to using mud, newspaper, tissue, bits of mattress, rags, and even previously used pads and tampons. These methods are uncomfortable, unsanitary, and dangerous to the girls’ health and safety.
Femme International started their journey to break the period taboo by educating, engaging communities in conversations, and providing access to sustainable menstrual products. Throughout their way, the company had to face some huge challenges such as lack of resources, lack of technical operations awareness and very less know-how to integrate programming systems adequately/sustainably. However, their decision to focus on low-tech solutions became cognizant of most of the communities that they support who either have no access to tech infrastructure or resources to sustain their efficient operations.
Femme International plans to create menstrual friendly communities that are going to continue to support the future generation of menstruators who will find the communities more open to discussing menstrual health, regardless of gender and age. Moreover, they aim to achieve financial sustainability to secure the longevity of their programmes and operations with a belief that sustainable impact starts with adjusting their individual carbon footprint.
Switching to sustainable menstrual products will play a huge role towards conserving the environment and impacting climate change from an individual scale which then will create a ripple effect and push for others to participate through peer influence.