May 2019 - Oct 2022
High Heels Exchanged
According to Menstrual Hygiene Day, 65% of Kenyan women and girls cannot afford sanitary pads to manage their periods. Furthermore, according to a survey conducted by Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Heart Education, 42% of Kenyan schoolgirls have never used sanitary pads and instead use alternatives such as rags, blankets, mattress pieces, tissue paper, and cotton wool. In May 2022 the Kenyan government reduced the Ministry of Education's free sanitary pad budget for schoolgirls from KES 470 million to 260 million, leaving many who relied on the program with unmet menstrual needs.
Heels4Pads Foundation was established in May 2019 initially as a CSR initiative under Sister Speaks Global, with the aim to raise and amplify awareness of period poverty while empowering women and girls to advance gender equality and equity through facilitating menstrual health education workshops and providing access to sanitary pads. Our work and objectives also set to align with SDGs 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 and 17.
High heels are our core fundraising tool, we circle back confidence and restore dignity to girls and women in marginalised communities. Heels4Pads Exchange works as a two-fold agenda where we capitalise on the growing power of digital media and innovation to deconstruct myths around menses through campaigns, advocate for policy design and change and conduct social experiments and campaigns while employing a novel barter trade model to trade high heels with sanitary pads in public markets. The heels exchange campaign targets young women at the onset of their careers who otherwise do not have the purchasing power of buying new high heels to help them look the part at attending an interview and/or the work internship and placements. These young women who buy the high heels and exchange them with sanitary pads or buy with the equivalent amount required are anonymously mentored by ceiling-crashers whom they deem as role models in their respective careers, as they get to walk a mile in the high heel of other successful women who previously owned them. The sanitary pads collected are donated to school girls to build their confidence and manage their menstruation with dignity.
As an organisation, we continue to develop sustainable solutions to the problem of girls missing school due to a lack of menstrual products to manage their periods. The ‘Adopt A Dispenser” project is in conjunction with Inteco, Ari Pad Dispensers a female-led process innovation leader providing last-mile solutions in menstrual health & SRH. The tech-driven solution provides easy, hassle-free access to sanitary pads through a pad dispensing machine. The solution offers girls safety and confidentiality to access, change and manage their periods with dignity and privacy. Additionally, through NFC technology capability there is a back-end reporting module that monitors the impact on girls' school attendance and performance and the overall impact on girls’ education and the gender gap.
Our mission is to support 50,000 school girls across the 47 counties in Kenya within the next five years through the installation of pad dispensing machines to curb school girls’ absenteeism and advance education in collaboration with the guidance and counselling head, to facilitate menstrual health education and life skill mentorship programs.
Reduced period stigma and school absenteeism
Reduced vulnerabilities e.g SGBV, Teen Pregnancies, forced marriages, other abuses
Reduced economic burden and improved relations between parents, guardians, and society to openly talk about Menstrual Hygiene Health and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights
Reduced stigma, and reimagining the value of the girls in relation to education and wellbeing
Increased uptake of STEM subjects through targeted mentorship
Narrow girl-boys educational Gap to increase the number of girls entering secondary schools pursuing STEM
Social protection and awareness of key human rights issues such as gender equality.
Improve the accountability and impact measurement through the dispenser usage report.
HIGH HEELS AS A FUNDRAISING TOOL
ADOPT A DISPENSER SUSTAINABLE PROJECT
Dignity, Equality, Confidence
Employ innovation to raise, distribute sanitary towels and offer MHM education to girls and women in impoverished backgrounds in Kenya as we destigmatize menstruation.
Use barter trade for social good to raise awareness of period poverty, offer menstrual products and education as well as deconstruct myths by normalizing menstrual conversations in public spaces n Kenya.
To innovatively raise awareness on period poverty digitally, bridge access to menstrual products and education to women and girls as well as influence policies through advocacy for menstrual equality.
How It Works
ADOPT A DISPENSER
If you are a company looking to adopt a dispenser as part of your CSR project then please email us at email@example.com
Flea markets, women's conferences and mall activations.
Exchange gently used heels for a minimum of 12 packets of sanitary pads an equivalent to KES 800 (8 USD).
Trade New high heels trades for 18 packets of sanitary pads or the equivalent of KES 1,000 (10 USD)
Sanitary Pads Drive
The sanitary pads donated are distributed to vetted schools and organizations in marginalized communities.
We conduct 3 calendar big campaigns and distributions mainly on March-International Women's Day,
May- International Menstrual Health Management Day, October -International Day of the girl