Tanzania: Community Volunteer Services (CVS)

Introduction to reusable sanitary pads .

Empowering capacity of young girls and youth in and out of schools on Sexual and Reproductive Health and  Rights (SRHR) including comprehensive sexuality education, Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM), and entrepreneurship skills. 

Project description

Community Volunteer Services Tanzania (CVS-Tanzania) is a nationally registered NGO seeking to strengthen the capacity of young people to become agents of their Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) change and development in Tanzania. CVS operates in the region of Tanga, Tanzania and districts of Lushoto, Korogwe, Handeni, KIlindi, Bumbuli, Mkinga, Muheza, Tanga and Pangani. Our headquarter office is based in Tanga City. 

Our core program objectives include: improved health and education for marginalized and at-risk women, girls and children; Promotion of volunteer progras/activities for sustainable livelihood; and promoting adolescent sexual reproductive health and rights in and out of school for youth

As an organization leading the Menstrual Movement in Tanzania, we are changing the conversation around periods and providing kits/reusable sanitary towels to girls in need. Many Tanzanian women, especially in rural areas, do not have access to feminine hygiene products because stores are far away and they are too expensive. Girls use old cloth and corn husks instead, which can cause fungal infections and embarrassing leaks and odors. This creates a barrier to their work and education because many girls skip school and work during menstruation.

We also teach girls and boys about Menstruation Hygiene Management (MHM) where we include the use of renewable sanitary pads that are to be distributed to girls in the community, primary, and secondary schools. We teach both girls and boys about menstruation because we believe that we are creating a better future for our youth and if that is the case then we cannot separate the two genders which will lead to gender balance.

The participating international students will be involved in variety of activities which include collection and assessment of data from the schools, awareness creation to the schools and community, groups discussion facilitation, findings documentation and sharing their experiences globally.

Project outcome

Identified needs for student projects include:

  • marketing and communications
  • videos in the form of documentaries
  • community surveys
  • research on models
  • grant writing 
  • fundraising for pad kits

Current and ongoing projects include opportunities for international students and volunteers to engage with CVS around specific areas of interest and related programs. Visitors make a $325 donation to help support related programming.

  • Global Health Initiative Program (GHIP-Tanzania)
  • Menstrual Health and Management Program (MHM)
  • Ethics and Health Care Improvement Program (EHI)
  • Mt. Kilimanjaro Climbing for Girls Support Program (KC4GS)
  • Nursing and Midwives Students Volunteers-Progarm (N&MSV)

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Flexible 
Start time Flexible 
Level of collaboration Individual student project 
Benefits Varied
Who is eligible All undergraduate students

Core partners

Project mentor

Mara Huber

Associate Dean, Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning; Director, Experiential Learning Network

Phone: (716) 829-2834

Email: mbhuber@buffalo.edu

Have a question about this project? Mara Huber hosts drop-in office hours on Zoom every Monday and Thursday from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. 

Global NGO Project

This project is for students interested in collaborating with a global Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).

Please be sure you identify your project as a Global NGO Project when you sign up to start the digital badge.

Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  1. Examine the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the history of the framework. Then select one SDG to focus on as you work through your project.
  2. Download and complete this PowerPoint template.