One of the most recognised needs at Numwa School, and through the Southern African region in general, is the lack of sanitary wear for girls - with girls often missing up to five days of school a month because of a lack of sanitary protection. The Zimbabwe Gecko Society, together with Susan and Frank Janetti, recently brought material and a sewing machine to Imire, which had been generously donated by Canadian supporters. The sewing group at Numwa School now make reusable sanitary pads, and are now running a self-sustainable project.
The sanitary wear project was initiated by the Mothers Support Group of Numwa Secondary School, and the Group is made up of rural women, together with teachers from Numwa School, who gather twice a week and meet the needs of the children of the school.
The Numwa Mothers Support Group have recently partnered with Padding Africa, a highly recognised and motivated Charity initiated by a past Imire volunteer. Tanya has taken the sanitary pad project to an exciting international level, and the group are now making packs for distribution around Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique, bringing much needed funding into the community, and assisting thousands of girls throughout the region.
In August 2018, 1,500 packs were purchased by Padding Africa, and taken to the north of Zimbabwe, to Kariba and Chirundu, and then into Zambia to Lusaka and Livingstone, crossing into Botswana, onto Kasane and Maun and retuning to Zimbabwe through Gweru and finally Harare.
In January 2019, Imire's very own Mai Matsika together with two of the Mothers from the group, Mrs Ruvanda and Mrs Tavuringa, went to Sussundenga in Mozambique to assist Padding Africa with the set up and training of a new sewing group there. We would like to salute Tanya for her extraordinary hard work and amazing vision in initiating this very worthwhile and much needed project, through Padding Africa.
The ladies who travelled with her to Mozambique had such a fun, fabulous time with Tanya, and came back with glorious stories of their first time leaving Zimbabwe. Tanya you are incredible, thank you! Read more about the trip to Mozambique.
Donations of sewing machines, materials and sewing kits have been so generously given by individuals to whom we shall remain forever grateful. We would very much like to thank Sophie and Barbara, two previous volunteers, for their fantastic and extremely generous donation of a sewing room for the Numwa Mothers Support Group. A 40 foot container was purchased and electricity put in, giving the group somewhere permanent for their sewing equipment. Thank you to you all.
Not a scrap of material from the sanitary pack project is wasted, as rag rugs are woven with any left over pieces of fabric, and are then subsequently sold on to volunteers and lodge guests. In addition to these amazing projects, the Mothers Support Group also make uniforms for school children which are sold, using the money they raise to make clothes for needy children in the villages.
Volunteers often donate their own clothes and leave lots behind when they go home (thank you to all our volunteers for your wonderful generosity).These clothes are handed out to villages surrounding Imire’s boundary fence, and are always very gratefully received.
We are very proud that the Mother's Group at Numwa is self-supporting - empowering women by women, and building a strong, independent community spirit.
In order to carry on supplying the packs to local girls, donations of underpants for older girls, financial donations for sanitary packs, donations of material, cotton, needles and thread are always appreciated.
Please get in touch if you would like further details of how you can contribute to the project.
Imire Hands On Rhino & Elephant Conservation Volunteer Programme
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