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10000 Washable Sanitary Pads for African women

by Hoedspruit Training Trust
10000 Washable Sanitary Pads for African women
10000 Washable Sanitary Pads for African women
10000 Washable Sanitary Pads for African women
10000 Washable Sanitary Pads for African women
10000 Washable Sanitary Pads for African women
10000 Washable Sanitary Pads for African women
10000 Washable Sanitary Pads for African women
10000 Washable Sanitary Pads for African women
10000 Washable Sanitary Pads for African women
10000 Washable Sanitary Pads for African women

The team

As promised, the team is growing. We'll be welcoming our new seamstress early March 2020, Yeahhh! Very exciting to see the team growing, toward larger production and of course bigger impact. Our new lady will be trained and developed with the support of our master seamstresses Mama Irene and Mama Johanna.

Even though she's already a seamstress super star, the main priority for the coming months will be to get her up to speed with our quality standards. 

Partnership and training

Since our last report, we had the opportunity to develop new partnerships with local farms and other NGO's, with a view of expanding our distribution capacity. In fact we already started distribution of our pads directly to young female farmers and the feedbacks were encouraging and overwelming. 

Our main objective here is to increase our local footprint, partnering with organisations that could help us gain access and trust to specific key populations who need sanitary pads (school, orphenage).

Production and distribution

Our production is now up and going fully. We relocated our Sewing project to a larger space on the other side of our building. This will allow us to keep on growing the team, while providing a better and cleaner working environemt for our seamstresses.

Our next focus remains twofold:

- Streamline and increase our production capacity, with a focus on quality and confort.

- Develop new local distribution channels through partner organisations and projects fan (yes, we have fans now).

The future

Once again we would like to thank GlobalGiving, local and international donors, partners and everyone involved in the project to start with.

We are more motivated than ever to make this project a success and our motto remains: "It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela 

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The team

We've gone a long way since the sanitary pads project started almost a year ago. After many ups and downs, our team is now fully operational, and we are currently looking to add 2 to 3 more seamstresses to increase our production capacity.


Partnership and training

 Our relationship with Dignity Dream strengthen after their visit at Hlokomela in September. They not only provided specific training towards manufacturing processes, hygiene compliance and best practice to our seamstresses, but also general training to our nurses and outreach teams on awareness, menstruation cycle, culture and behaviors change.


Production and distribution

After many drafts, prototypes, testing and feedback sessions, we've designed a version 1 of the pads that we are very proud of! Our main focus was confort for young girls and women who will use our pads. A massive team efforts during the last months on improving design, quality and longevity paid off. It allowed our production of high quality pads to reach above 2000 pads.

Our next focus is twofold:

- Streamline and increase our production capacity by employing and training new local staffs.

- Push our distribution efforts through our clinics, outreach, and school partnerships.

We've received some amazing feedbacks and supports from our local community and it is such a blessing to see the impact on our seamstress moral already.


The future

Thanks to the Global giving community, local and international donors, partners and all the people involved in the project, we can tell with confidence that the Sanitary Pads project is here to stay.

We are fighting everyday to increase our impact and support more young girls and womens just to be women, with dignity. We still have a long way to go, lots of battles to win, but we start to believe it's not impossible with your support.

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Our Team of three ladies have come far over the last few months and we are happy to report that they are well on their way to becoming full-time Sanitary Pad making Professionals.


Their quality of work is exceptional and they are extremely motivated. We are very proud of the work they are producing. There again has been some serious challenges as Clarah Mazadza and Irene Dzvene, both had family issue that forced them to travel back to Zimbabwe. Luckily both situations seem to have been resolved and we hope that we can go a few months now without hiccups and interruptions.





We’ve again met with the Dignity Dreams organisation to set up a partnership, and the have agreed to come to Limpopo on the 19th of September to give our team some more training. The Dignity Dream team will also be giving training to our nurses and outreach team on how to do awareness on menstruation and other women’s health issues. 


The Sewing team will also be presenting their own Washable Sanitary Pad design to the Dignity Dreams. They been making prototype like crazy in a effort to get a version of the pad that offers optimal comfort, fit and absorbability.





We’ve also been able to generate some more funds for the project from the general public in Limpopo to help sustain the project. We are grateful for their support as the have in able us to employ our three seamstresses full time till December.


We would also like to thank our GlobalGiving friends and donors for your amazing support over the last 6 months!  You make all the difference to our work here at the Hlokomela.

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Our staff have been hard at work training to become fulltime sanitary making professionals. We’ve run into some issue regarding working permits as the three ladies we have chosen to start the project with are all from Zimbabwe. Getting their working permits sorted has been a bit of an uphill battle. Clarah Mazadza and Irene Dzvene has working permits, but unfortunately Joana Kabote has a slightly harder process that we need to complete. The process has shown us how the systems that are suppose to serve society sometimes exclude so many citizens from opportunities.

However, we are positive that this issue will be resolved soon.



Our Partnership with Dignity Dreams, the organisation that will help us with training & quality control of our products, is still in its infancy phase and we have yet to determine the best way forward to ensure a steady and sustainable training programme for incoming seamstresses. We are also in the process of applying for a NACOSA ender to supply sexworkers with washable sanitary pads. If we were to get this project it would help us tremendously with resources and make it possible for us to reach more women . Not just with the pads, but also with the training programme.



With the NACOSA tender would allow us to acces a larger distribution network and make it possible for us to establish this project long term. NACOSA is a network of over 1,800 civil society organisations working together to turn the tide on HIV, AIDS and TB in Southern Africa. NACOSA promotes dialogue, builds capacity with accredited training, mentoring and technical assistance and channels resources to support service delivery on the ground, particularly among children and youth, key populations and women and girls. A project of this sort could ensure that the seamstresses that acces training could in theory have access to a large mark to supply their products to. All of this is very exciting, but needs to still be finalised. 


Fingers crossed. Opportunities galore.

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Fund raising through GlobalGiving 

We can’t believe it is already 3 months since the 27th of November and the huge success of GlobalGiving’s 2018 GivingTuesday. The response was fantastic and we reach far more than the personal target we set for ourself. We were able to raise a whopping $2400. We are humbled by the amazing support. With the funding we raised through GlobalGiving we will be able to pay for training for three seamstresses, buy the fabric for the first batch of 2000 reusable sanitary pads, and pay our team a salary for the next year.


Selection of staff

With the money raised we were able to start the process of selecting candidates for the our project. We decided that we would only start with three candidates to get the initial training to make the first batch of sanitary pads. We picked three wonderful ladies that we knew from a previous project, that all had some form of formal training in sewing, making them the perfect candidates for the first stage of the project. They also have hearts of gold making them a joy to work with.




Although our first three candidates are all skilled seamstresses, making reusable sanitary pads is a complicated project. A lot of emphasis is put on quality control. Making a high quality project is of the upmost importance. These pads must be able to serve the recipients for up to three years. To insure that our team delivers the best product possible, we are in talks with another organisation in the reusable sanitary pad sector, to help us train our team of seamstresses. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we want to learn from the best. We aim to have this partnership locked down in the coming weeks and to share the exiting details with you in our next report.



We are lucky enough to already have 4 sewing machine available for our team to work on. These machine will need to be maintained and funds for this would need to be raised either through the Global Giving platform or through funds generated through the selling of reusable sanitary pads.



Because Hlokomela's main focus is health care, we already have an existing network for distribution as our not-for-profit medical clinics reach more than 20000 young women and girls annually. We have however also been in talks with numerous other organisations in regards to the distribution of our sanitary pads. There are multiple organisations in our area already giving out disposable sanitary pads to school girls and women. The projects have shown interest in moving away from disposable sanitary pads and to rather give out reusable pads. This is a great opportunity for us to further diversify our distribution channels, but also to have these organisations spend there money on our pads rather than spending it on disposable products. This gives us the chance to make the projects slightly more sustainable and helps us build a business out of reusable sanitary pads that will in the long run help our team of seamstresses with permanent employment.


This project is off to a great start and we would like to thank our GlobalGiving friends and donors for your amazing support over the last 3 months!  You make all the difference to our work here at the Hlokomela.



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Organization Information

Hoedspruit Training Trust

Location: Hoedspruit, Limpopo - South Africa
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Hlokomela
Project Leader:
Christine du Preez
Hoedspruit, Limpopo South Africa
$13,321 raised of $27,000 goal
276 donations
$13,679 to go
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