The growing and ongoing effort to empower and keep girls in school through breaking the silence of period poverty has gained a new partner in Komani.
Komani sustainably produces and distributes quality reusable sanitary pads. Their vision is to ensure that all women, especially schoolgirls, never have to worry about being without menstrual protection and that the products they use are healthy, economical and environmentally friendly.
The Umtshayelo Foundation (TUF) is a Cape Town-based non-profit organisation who founded the Komani social enterprise, as part of their mission to build supportive and positive communities. It was through their fieldwork in impoverished communities, that they realised how urgent and dire the need for menstrual education, care products and support is in South Africa. Moved by this need, TUF embarked on finding a sustainable solution for what can only be called a feminine dignity crisis, and the Komani social enterprise was established in 2018.
A survey was conducted amongst girls between the ages of 12 and 17 years old who attends TUF’s out-of-school program. The results indicated that 71% of the respondents have never heard of reusable sanitary pads and 63% agreed that if they had reusable sanitary pads, they would feel assured and less fearful of being in a situation where they have no protection. A total of 94% of the respondents cited that they would like to find out more about reusable sanitary pads and how to use them.
After many months of research, experimentation, trials, and many hours of production, Komani officially launched their crowning reusable sanitary pad project. A pack of Komani pads provides carefree menses for more than three years.
“Our product launch on Saturday 27th July exceeded our expectations, not only in numbers but also engagement. The short post-launch survey indicated that 98% of those using menstrual products would be keen to make the switch to reusable, what a positive result,” expressed Stephanie Lamour founder of Komani.
The product, distributed through the princess program provides, a care pack to schoolgirls and offers menstrual education and resources at workshops held during handovers. This will be made possible through CSI sponsorship. The second distribution stream is a direct sales network which offers income opportunities to empower women by selling the ultra-absorbent, natural and unscented pads.
For their great work and social service to the community, Komani was recently awarded a social innovation accolade by Community Chest in Cape Town.
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