A women-led company founded to give schoolgirls access to affordable sanitary wear has grown into a scalable social enterprise that aims to positively impact the lives of women and girls throughout the African continent.
Nandi Pads was founded out of disbelief and anger that South African girls are missing school due to a lack of access to sanitary pads. But, unlike the short-term and sometimes erratic interventions of donations, Nandi Pads is a NPO that offers a holistic and sustainable solution to the “period poverty” facing girls who drop out or fail to get the marks they are capable of because of missing school.
“Nandi Pads was started to address the problem of menstruation related absenteeism in schoolgirls,” says co-founder Jovana Korac. “When I heard about the problem in 2009 I was absolutely outraged that, in the 21st century, young girls were being left out of the education system simply because of a biological process that affects fifty percent of the population. I thought it was unheard of that young girls could not access education – the one thing that could potentially get them out of poverty – because they could not access affordable sanitary pads.
“With Nandi Pads we have created a sustainable solution that not only impacts the lives of the school girls but also provides income streams for women in disadvantaged communities.”
Nandi Pads emerged out of Kgoshigadi, an initiative that was originally started by Tebogo Motubatse in Soshanguve. Initially working as a donation model, it now has a new name and has grown into a holistic, homegrown solution that is based on stringent quality control and a distribution process managed entirely by women, using only local suppliers. Nandi Pads are high quality and affordable - and locally produced in a South African facility.
To date, Nandi Pads has supported 3,500 girls at 15 schools with over 200,000 sanitary pads. These are accompanied by health discussions and inspirational talks for the schoolgirls. In addition, Nandi Pad’s unique business-in-a-box sales method has upskilled women entrepreneurs and allowed them to generate a regular income for themselves and their families.
Nandi Pads is the fourth project to receive funding from a new social impact initiative that has brought together JT Communication Solutions, a Johannesburg-based, 100% black owned media agency, and the global Mindshare media agency.
“We are thrilled to be recognised as a potential changemaker on the continent by JT Comms and Mindshare,” says Korac. “Getting the word out about Nandi Pads will change lives, in a meaningful and sustained manner – and will help with our aim of expanding our social impact business model into other African countries.”
There are multiple ways that supporters can get involved with Nandi Pads:
Nandi Pads is aiming to be one hundred percent biodegradable in the near future while the NPO is also planning a Kgoshigadi bursary scheme for children of the women entrepreneurs who are taking the business model forward. “Kgoshigadi means ‘Queen’ in sePedi and Nandi was Shaka Zulu’s mom and a warrior queen herself – and we are always taking this spirit forward in whatever we do,” concludes Korac.
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Issued for Nandi Pads supported by JT Communication Solutions powered by Mindshare and ECAfrica
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About JT Comms
JT COMMUNICATION SOLUTIONS is a dynamic, 100% black owned media agency established in 2004, rooted in Africa with a global reach. The agency’s core business offering includes media relations, publicity, communications, reputation management, crisis communication, event and marketing solutions amongst others.
JT Comms continues to constantly evolve, remain organic and successfully scale its operations to a 360-degree digital agency and is a conduit in producing effective and relevant African content that’s definitive and packaged for digital penetration. The agency has launched new innovations such as hosting “Business Master Classes” and launching an online TV station, which hosts diverse projects such as ECAfrica, Bunnies in the Burbs and Amplifying African Excellence. JT Comms significantly differentiates itself from its competitors by being relevant and providing tailored solutions and a resource for media players in sourcing African content. @jtcomms www.jtcomms.co.za