Let us play! Cheap sanitary pads for girls in East Africa

Congratulations! This Entry has been selected as a winner.

Let us play! Cheap sanitary pads for girls in East Africa

Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We are planning to provide affordable sanitary pads to girls in Kenya so they can participate fully in sports and in school.

About You
Contact Information


First name


Last name


Your job title

director, M&E and research

Name of your organization

Moving the Goalposts

Organization type

community based organisation

Annual budget/currency

This field has not been completed

Project Street Address

Box 605

Project City


Project Province/State
Project Postal/Zip Code


Project Country
Your idea
Choose your sport: (check all that apply)


If you chose "other" for Sport, please define in 1-2 words below
What approach does your initiative incorporate?


Year the initiative began (yyyy)


Paste your video code here:
If your project has a website, paste the web address here:
Plot your innovation within the discovery framework:

Girls internalize cultural stereotypes


Embed sports with other activities

<p>This field has not been completed. (333 words or less)</p>

What is your signature innovation, your new idea, in one sentence?

<p>We are planning to provide affordable sanitary pads to girls in Kenya so they can participate fully in sports and in school.</p>

How many people does your innovation serve or plan to serve? Exactly who will benefit?

<p>We plan to serve 5000 girls and young women in first year by providing them with affordable sanitary pads. However we hope to be able to scale up the social enterprise once it is established.</p>

Do you have any existing partnerships? If so, please list and describe.

<p>We are working with Professor M.K. Musaazi at Makerere University in Uganda. The Kids’ League (a sport and development organization in Kampala, Uganda) and Marsabit Girls’ Secondary School, Kenya are also linking with Professor Musaazi to use his technology. We also have a strong relationship with the Ministry of Education.</p>

In which sector do these partners work? (Check all that apply)

Citizen sector (non profits, NGOs) .

How do you implement your innovation and apply it to the challenge/problem you are addressing?

<p>There is a lack of affordable and hygienic sanitary pad in Kenya. Women often use pieces of cloth or other materials. This leads to girls missing a lot of school and to some of them becoming sexually active to get money to buy pads, in turn leading to risk of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. Another result is that girls are unwilling or unable to play sports. We will start a social enterprise to produce affordable sanitary pads using the design of Professor Musaazi in Uganda. They are made of papyrus grass which grows relatively locally. We have conducted a feasibility study and determined that we should develop a business plan and we are seeking a volunteer to develop it. Already we conduct peer education sessions on reproductive and sexual health as part of football practices and matches, and we would incorporate the new sanitary pads into this education. The packages of our pads would contain information about sexual and reproductive health.</p>

Provide one sentence describing your impact/intended impact

<p>Girls will play football with confidence, attend school more regularly, and be better educated about sexual and reproductive health.</p>

What does impact/success look like? Please list any tangible measures of the impact of your innovation

<p>1) Girls will be able to play football whenever they want; 2) Girls will be able to attend school when they are menstruating; 3) Sanitary pads will be affordable; 4) Girls will be less dependent on boys and men to get money to buy sanitary pads and as a result sexual health will improve; 5) Sanitary pads will cost 35 shillings for a package of 10 locally-made sanitary pads as opposed to an average of 60 shillings now; 6) Our pads will be distributed through the schools; 7) The social enterprise will be profitable enough that it can contribute financially to the development of more social sports activities; 8) The social enterprise will provide employment to girls. Most importantly we talk with girls about things important to teenage girls: sex, boyfriends, pregnancy, feelings, desires—and menstrual protection. This project is innovative because in providing pads we will impact on many other problems including school attendance, sexual health, and sports participation.</p>

Is there a chance that your project could change policy (within an institution or government)?

<p>We want there to be a more comprehensive government programme to provide pads for school girls (in a similar way to school feeding programmes in some schools). Toilet facilities in the schools need improvement, as do toilet facilities in the community. And we need to make sure that disposal of sanitary pads in an environmentally sustainable way is part of the programme.</p>

Aside from financial sustainability, how do you plan to grow the initiative or expand your intended impact?

<p>We will develop a business plan, and then apply for funding from various organizations. We will start small scale, and recruit a person with relevant business skills to drive the social enterprise.</p>

How is your initiative financed (or how do you expect your initiative will be financed)?

<p>We will develop a business plan, and then apply for funding from various organizations. We will start small scale, and recruit a person with relevant business skills to drive the social enterprise.</p>

Financing source
Annual budget

<p>5.500.000 Kenyan shillings. (Moving the Goalposts, not for the sanitary pads project, which will be separate, and which has no budget at the moment.</p>

Annual revenue generated

<p>Annual revenue generated: 5.500.000 Kenyan Shillings (as above, this is for Moving the Goalposts as a whole).</p>

Number of staff (full-time, part-time, volunteers)

<p>5 full time &amp; 4 part time staff, 300 volunteers in the office and on the sports fields, all of them girls and women.</p>

What are the main barriers to financing your initiative, and how do you plan to address these barriers?

<p>The main barriers are lack of business skills and (so far) lack of financial backing. The target group are from families living in poverty – profit margins may be small.</p>

What are the major challenges with regards to partnerships?

This field has not been completed.

The Story
What stage is your project?

Ongoing project .

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>

(Optional) To be eligible for an additional prize, please select age range