Mamma’s Laef is a longest running project developed by Lav Kokonas. In the wake of Cyclone Pam in March 2015, I saw the need for easy to use, re-useable, affordable sanitary pads. To read how this began, read here
In the two years since we started producing washable sanitary pads in Vanuatu, the bulk of our sanitary pad kits have been given to girls in schools.
That has been our main focus, but many women, particularly those who have recently given birth, have also enjoyed using the Mamma’s Laef system.
Educating girls in Vanuatu
- Estimated population of girls in education that would appreciate this support, is around 40,000 +.
- 80% of the population of Vanuatu live in rural settings, away from western style shops and facilities.
- 80% of the adult population are not in paid employment, and live sustainable lives. Many girls travel to other islands, and live in boarding schools to receive their college education.
- School fees are often a financial priority for families, the additional cost of one-use sanitary pads adds to the financial burden by an estimated $100 per annum.
- Many girls opt out of school when they have their period, because of lack of tools to manage their menses and/or lack of confidence to continue normal participation in daily activities, including sports.
Mammas Laef Washable Sanitary Pads are a good fit in Vanuatu, on several levels.
- Only a small amount of water is needed to wash them and the grey water can be recycled and a big plus is that there is NO plastic to be disposed of. (Climate Change is making it’s impact in Vanuatu).
- The system is cost effective, and has an estimated lifespan of up to 4 years, and the kits are made in Vanuatu, creating income and providing opportunities for new skills
- Each girl (or woman) has their own kit so little chance of cross contamination causing infection.
- How wonderful it is to have something so pretty to help manage your monthly period.
When distributing these washable sanitary pad kits to girls in schools, our Mammas Laef team also provide a wonderful awareness / education programme in basic menstrual and reproductive health education. The education programme was developed by Days for Girls International.