Kibera Pad Co.
Kibera slum, situated in the middle of Nairobi, Kenya has up to one million people living in an area the size of Central Park in New York City. Most of Kibera has no running water and apart from a few public toilet blocks there is no sanitation. Most people who work earn US$1 a day and life expectancy in Kibera is 46 years.
About Kibera Pad Co.
The KPCo. micro-factory
Our first micro-factory started operating in May 2019. It consists of six pieces of machinery all manually operated. It was delivered with 18 months worth of new materials and is situated at Polycom Development Project in Kibera Slum.
Employing local women
Five women from Kibera were trained and are now paid to work full time to produce good quality, sanitary pads. These women are the mothers, sisters and grandmothers of the girls. The pads are free and mentors, trained by Polycom, distribute pads to 50 schools. The mentors liaise between Polycom, the teachers and the students and instruct the girls how to use the pads, about personal hygiene and sex education.
This project begins with the assumption that girls will never be able to pay for their pads because of the financial pressures on all Kibera families. Jane’s network of women working in the micro-factory and mentoring/liaising with the girls and teachers is the main reason this initiative works. Educating the girls about personal hygiene, vaginal infections, and underage sex is an added bonus in a culture that has strong taboos about sex and personal hygiene. Without Jane’s well-established infrastructure this idea may not have worked.