Lack of access to sanitary pads has escalating negative health and social consequences. Unhygienic alternatives – rags, cotton, grass – can lead to urinary and reproductive tract infections, and these infections, or a lack of any means to manage menstruation, lead to high rates of school absenteeism and drop out.
The MakaPad is a biodegradable sanitary pad developed by Technology for Tomorrow (T4T) in Uganda. This locally appropriate technology could change the lives of roughly six million women in Mozambique alone.
LiV bridges a connection between an African producer of affordable, biodegradable sanitary pads in Uganda with an existing network of girls and women in Mozambique who are prepared to distribute the sanitary pads along with reproductive health education. In this way, LiV is able to create opportunity for economic gain among the girls and women who distribute these products and respond to the local need for improved menstrual hygiene management.
Our biggest challenge to date has been the cost of transporting the products from Uganda to Mozambique. This nearly prohibitive cost has limited our ability to establish a financially viable business model. However, timely and full sale of the inventory purchased with this loan will prove that a market for these products exists and set the foundation for establishing a MakaPads production site in Mozambique – a huge step toward establishing a financially self-sustaining model.
I’m most proud of our team’s perseverance. Despite numerous unanticipated challenges over the past four years, we’ve remained true to our passion and focused on our goal. This is an extraordinarily exciting time for LiV as we are poised for tremendous growth.