Reusable pads putting smiles on faces of girls in arid areas

Thick cotton fleece stitched reusable pads manufactured by Mohamed Rafik, a volunteer and founder of Orphan Aid. He donated the pads to adolescent girls and women in Arid and rural areas. [Joachim Bwana, Standard]

Rafik blames the community for failing to enlighten and empower both the girls and boys about menstrual hygiene.

He says they have joined hands with several organizations that have accepted reusable pads instead of sanitary towels which are expensive and preferred mostly by those in urban areas.

Rafik says the pads have been tested by the staff and community. He says most of the time when they donate the pads to communities that can access roads and shops, they don't appreciate as opposed to those who are in remote areas.

"When you take these pads to girls in Mombasa, they will never use them because they can afford sanitary towels," says Rafik.

To avoid duplicity of donations and projects, Rafik has formed a WhatsApp group where 26 organizations they are working with communicate with each other on their activities.

"In the past, when we went to an orphanage to donate stuff like mattresses, we realized that some had already received the same donations. However, they kept quiet and showed donors empty beds while the mattresses are in the stores," says Rafik.

He says his organization runs their projects on a 100 per cent donation policy.

To take care of the transportation costs, maintenance of their office and paying staff, Rafik's organization relies on their own income-generating activities such as delivery services and catering services, among others.