Maluuk Explores Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Adrienne Short from South Africa, hopes to visit 20 secondary schools in the Hwange province, Zimbabwe, to provide 788 girls with a long-term sustainable solution to sanitaryware.

It is estimated that over 2.3 billion people do not have access to essential sanitation services, and only 27% of the population have access to a home-based handwashing facility with soap and water. The lack of these basic facilities at home makes managing periods at home a major challenge for women and adolescent girls.

Based on research, Maluuk Explores Foundation has found that 45% of girls end up making use of old cloth and rags, 29% use cotton wool, 18% use pads and 3% reported even using newspapers and leaves.

There are currently very few or no sanitary products available to schoolgirls in disadvantaged countries, be it disposables or reusables because the materials are too expensive or difficult to acquire.

Girls shouldn’t miss school. Period.

Becoming a woman should be a celebration. Instead, in many parts of Africa, menstruation remains shrouded in shame and ignorance, impacting the health, education and dignity of women and girls. 

Without a sustainable sanitary solution, girls potentially miss 528 days of education throughout their schooling career due to the lack of facilities at school, lack of awareness around menstruation, embarrassment, menstrual pain, and the inability to afford hygienic sanitary materials. 

If girls are missing their education because of menstruation, this reduces their future career prospects. These factors have a negative bearing on their educational performance. 

“I am hoping that you will see my vision and join forces with Maluuk Explores Foundation to implement our project objectives of closing the gender inequalities, assisting to end period poverty, empowering the women and youth in these areas and investing in the future female leaders”, says founder, Adrienne Short.

The goal is to provide a sustainable eco-friendly solution that would see the girls through their secondary school career by offering them a re-usable product that requires only hand washing, and should with proper care and maintenance last 3-5years. 

To secure funding for Project Phumelela, Maluuk Explores Foundation has launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy, with a fundraising target of over R200 000 to help provide long-term, sustainable solutions to a critical problem that affects the health and livelihood of many young girls.

“We Believe Lack of education about menstruation is one of the many barriers to achieving adequate menstrual hygiene worldwide. Creating awareness and openness is one of the most effective ways to help teach girls how to properly manage their menstrual hygiene.”

Since the launch of the campaign, over R9000 has been raised with kind contributions from 14 donors.

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South Africa’s leading crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy has supported more than 10 000+ individuals and charities in setting up fundraising campaigns for medical fees, tuition and various causes in South Africa. The platform has thus far risen over R330 Million.