Like any adolescent girl in rural and vulnerable communities of Zambia, Susan Moonga, a student at Mpango Hope Secondary in Lusaka rural used to occasionally miss school because of challenges accessing sanitary pads.
However, in August this year, Susan and other girls at her school were among the beneficiaries of reusable sanitary pads known as Kozo pads that Plan International distributed to girls and young women in selected disadvantaged communities.
Unlike conventional pads that can only be used once and thereafter disposed off, Kozo pads, which are made from cotton and woolen material and are washable and can be used for a period of up to one year.
“This means that one need not worry about buying pads for a very long time. Kozo pads have helped to boost concentration in school and given me the confidence to excel in my studies,” Susan explained.
Susan’s sentiments were echoed by other girls who added that for most vulnerable young women and girls, access to conventional sanitary pads is a challenge that has been compounded further by the advent of COVID-19.
They asserted that the introduction of Kozo pads, which according to them are cost-effective and durable, will help girls and young women to be more productive both at school and in other spaces.
A visit to a number of women and girls focused economic empowerment centers located in rural and peri-urban areas of Lusaka, Zambia’s capital, revealed that many of them have added to their business and entrepreneurship programs the making of Kozo pads.
A number of girls and young women across Zambia are benefiting from the making of Kozo pads, which are gaining popularity among young and indigent populations.