WHAT WE DO

Millions of teenage girls in Africa cannot afford disposable sanitary pads, forcing them to miss school each month during their menstrual cycles. This causes them to fall behind in their studies or drop out of school, perpetuating the vicious cycles of gender inequality and poverty that exist on the continent.

Many are forced to use unsafe substitutes for sanitary pads (e.g., mattress filling, cow dung, leaves, or pieces of cloth) or engage in dangerous behaviors like transactional sex to obtain sanitary protection.

This increases their vulnerability to premature sexual debut; early or unplanned pregnancy; child marriage; and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS.

Huru Kits are distributed at community and school events led by facilitators trained by Huru.

Huru manufactures a high quality pad that will make the girl feel safe and comfortable. It is leak-proof guaranteed based on previous parameters for a specific period of time. Often hundreds of girls – along with teen boys and other community members – attend these distribution workshops, where the facilitators speak about health and gender issues and facilitate confidential referrals for HIV counseling and testing.

OUR 3 E’S

ENGAGE

We reach at-risk girls by providing “Huru Kits” – drawstring backpacks containing eight reusable pads, three pairs of underwear, detergent-grade soap, and two re-sealable waterproof bags for storing soiled pads.

By engaging girls, we are also able to reach whole schools, families, and communities with culturally appropriate public health and HIV/AIDS messaging.

We also involve boys and teachers in our sexual and reproductive health and life skills workshops.

We collaborate closely with local governmental officials, community leaders and community organization in our program design and delivery to foster buy-in and support.

EDUCATE

Huru not only integrates menstrual health education, but also other critical life and health information. We educate girls about menstrual health, sexual and reproductive health, life skills, gender norms, gender-based violence, and HIV/AIDS prevention.

We educate boys, families, and communities about menstrual health, sexual and reproductive health, life skills, gender norms, gender-based violence, and HIV/AIDS prevention.

Girls who benefit from the “Huru System” reduce their menstruation-related absences by 87%.

EMPOWER

The “Huru System” gives the girls the practical skills and resources and confidence they need to thrive in school, at home, and within their communities.

We provide training and jobs for economically-disadvantaged women and men who work at our manufacturing facility in Nairobi’s Mukuru slum.

We recruit young women and men where we work and train them to serve as our program facilitators and community based mentors in the communities we serve.

THE HURU SYSTEM

The Huru Kit:

  • 8 reusable sanitary pads
  • 3 pairs of underwear
  • Infographic on proper sanitary pad usage
  • 2 waterproof bags to safely store used sanitary pads
  • Soap to wash the sanitary pads
  • Life skills educational booklet

    Huru Educational Workshops:

    • Menstrual health
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Life skills

    Huru International, a 501©(3) non-profit, founded by Lorna Macleod in 2008, aims to produce 10 million Huru pads during the next five years
    to keep 1 million teenage girls in school.

    The organization welcomes new partnerships to increase
    the scope, scale, and impact of its work.