Reporting on a Chocolate Univ Student-Led Sustainable Pad Pilot Test at Mababu School
By Fides Magige, Anna Mercer & Melissa Gelner
Recognizing the challenges many girls face due to limited access to menstrual products, the Empowered Girls Club initiated a pilot project to evaluate the effectiveness of Salama Pads—a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to disposable sanitary towels.
In collaboration with the Chocolate University class of 2023 team of SW Missouri high school students, the pilot project was launched on July 16, 2023, at Mababu Primary School in Kyela. Twenty empowered girls were provided with Salama Pads as samples, marking the beginning of a transformative journey toward sustainable menstrual hygiene management.
Key Findings from the Pilot Program Evaluation:
- Positive Response: All 20 girls responded affirmatively to the initial round of questions, expressing positive opinions about Salama Pads. The girls highlighted several reasons for their preference for Salama Pads – feelings of freedom and confidence, enhanced cleanliness during menstruation, extended durability, and comfort.
- Willingness to Advocate: All 20 girls expressed a strong willingness to help launch Salama Pads to their classmates, indicating a potential for peer-to-peer promotion and adoption.
- Educational Needs: To make the transition easier, the girls recommended the provision of adequate education on the benefits of reusable pads compared to disposable ones. This emphasizes the importance of comprehensive menstrual health education and specific care and use instructions.
The positive responses and insights gathered from the pilot program indicate a successful initial trial of Salama Pads. To further validate and expand the impact, an extended trial will launch in January 2024 with one full club (200 girls) using the pads and will provide valuable insights before committing to the full distribution of Salama Pads to all 600 Empowered Girls, ensuring a holistic and informed approach to sustainable menstrual hygiene management. The journey from disposable pads to Salama Pads is not just a shift in products; it’s a transformative step towards empowerment, environmental consciousness, and a healthier future for these young girls.