What was the motivation or defining moment that led to create this innovation? Tell us the story.
<p>Moving the Goalposts (MTG) had been operating as a girls’ football and development organization for over four years when this innovation was first created. Girls talked often about how they wanted to sit our practice because they were menstruating. There was also a lot of publicity in Kenya, driven by NGOs such as UNICEF and the Girl Child Network, about how girls would miss days off school when they had their periods. Girls were not able to afford sanitary pads, the toilet facilities in school were not adequate and some girls even talked about how they slept with men or boys to get money to pay for pads. It became more and more clear that a lack of sanitary pads was leading to poor performance in schools for girls, early sexual activity and increased risk of pregnancy and HIV infection and a barrier to participation in sports. In response to this MTG, through its partnership with the Ford Foundation in Nairobi, was linked to Professor Musaazi from Makerere University who had developed the technology to make affordable sanitary pads out of papyrus grass, a locally available material. The meeting with Professor Musaazi was the defining moment as it became clear that an East African solution to an East African problem had been found and that with cooperation and determination MTG could do something about this problem facing girls in Kenya.</p>
Please tell us about the social innovator behind this initiative
<p>I came to Kenya as a volunteer, with experience as a football coach and as a journalist in both radio and print and a passion for women’s equality, developed through studies at university and field work in Africa. I was also a trained football coach. MTG was created by a committed group of teachers, local government and researchers, to eventually become a registered community organization reaching out to close to 3000 girl players with football leagues for girls at 27 fields across the district.</p>