The Zivhu Foundation Zimbabwe is bringing into the country several hundred kilogrammes of female sanitary wear as part of wider efforts to make the products more accessible to women from low income backgrounds.
The sanitary pads, which come in packets of 10, are manufactured at the Zivhu Foundation South Africa’s highly-mechanised factory in Pretoria.
In an interview with TellZim News, Zivhu Foundation director Killer Zivhu said the motive of the venture was completely philanthropic, with the only financial concern being the sustainability of operations.
“We are responding to the impossible-to-ignore calls to make access to sanitary wear a basic human right for all woman and girls. Globally, women’s health issues are increasingly becoming issues of human rights and we want to fit right into that narrative. Why should our women and girls still suffer the indignities of period poverty?” said Zivhu.
Zivhu, who is the Zanu PF Member of Parliament (MP) for Chivi South, said the programme was also meant to create marketing job opportunities for women who want to sell the products in their communities.
“We have set up a distribution centre in Harare. Our products are selling for just $6 per packet of 10 and that makes them the most affordable on the market. Women who want to be our sales persons in communities must go and register. The money raised is ploughed back into the business to make it sustainable,” said Zivhu.
He also said the foundation was also campaigning to raise sanitary hygiene awareness among males so that they better appreciate the need to support women and girls in that regard.
Asked why the foundation had not set up the manufacturing plant in Zimbabwe to help the cause of formal job creation, Zivhu cited shortage of inputs.
“It’s harder and much more expensive to access the raw materials locally. So it’s generally about operational costs which are not friendly to the philanthropic cause we want to champion using this programme,” said Zivhu.
The foundation recently donated some pads to some South African schools with majority Zimbabwean pupils .
The renowned philanthropist also said the foundation was fully supportive of a recent government decision to supply free sanitary pads to poor schools beginning in the rural areas.