Overcoming a Hygiene Taboo in Tanzania

Sep 16, 2021

Living in the uphill of Usambara Mountains in the Northern part of Tanzania, Saumu’s life has been far from easy. Being the oldest among her four siblings, things got difficult after her parents’ divorce.

Last year, when schools closed due to the pandemic, Saumu was devastated when she got her period while she was at home. Since menstruation is still a taboo discussion in her community, she couldn’t reach out to anyone for help nor did she have enough money to buy sanitary pads.

“I was worried as I did not want to get sick from using dirty clothes. When I’m in school, I benefit from being a part of the Wezesha Vijana club led by team members from Asante Africa Foundation. They distribute sanitary pads to girls and also teach us about staying healthy during this time.”

girl in Tanzania

Through the Wezesha Vijana intervention, to keep girls safe and learning continues in the midst of the pandemic, Asante Africa distributed the family essentials kit that included an ample supply of sanitary pads along with other learning and survival necessities.

“Getting this package was a relief. Having enough sanitary pads saved me from being embarrassed. Even though I was out of school, I got enough learning material to continue my studies and do well in my final exams.”

Saumu is currently a Form-1 student and her dream is to become a teacher.


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