Reusable Sanitary Pad Project

Mara, project mentor with HRCO Executive Director, Stephen Marwa, holding first batch of reusable sanitary pads.

Support the development of a reusable sanitary pad project started by UB student, Danielle Nerber (2018).

Project description

In 2017, UB student Danielle Nerber, became interested in the struggles facing menstruating women in Mara Tanzania. When she learned that many girls missed school due to inadequate hand washing, privacy, and menstrual supplies, she decided to do a project researching innovative solutions. She came across a foundation in Arusha (Dare Women's Foundation) that engaged local women in the sewing of reusable pads that could be sold as a means of generating revenue while solving a problem related to girls' education. As her project evolved, Danielle found herself starting a GoFundMe campaign, raising money for the training of our Tanzanian partners, and the start-up of a new initiative. In 2018, just one year later, Danielle returned to Tanzania with materials and supplies, and helped to sew the first batch of pads.

Today in Tanzania, the pad project continues to grow with different women's groups being trained by Hope Revival Children's Organization (HRCO) under the direction of Stephen Marwa. Although the project has garnered great excitement from local women, leaders, and even government officials, there are challenges to address. Sourcing high quality and sustainable materials is the primary problem identified by Stephen. He invites our faculty and students to assess the design and constructing, hopefully improving on the model to build further capacity for this important initiative. All ideas and engagement are welcome.

Project outcome

Students are invited to contribute their ideas, talents, and resources to this important project.

Possible outcomes include:

  1. helping to source possible materials and supplies
  2. contributing to marketing and communications efforts
  3. development of a business model
  4. branding contributions
  5. related research and assessment 

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Flexible 
Start time Anytime 
Level of collaboration Flexible 
Benefits Other
Who is eligible Anyone
Support Funding is available after the completion of the preparation badge. See below.

Core partners

  • Hope Revival Children's Organization (HRCO)
  • Mogabiri Farm Extension Center (MFEC) 

Project mentor

Mara Huber

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning, Director of

Experiential Learning Network

Phone: (716) 829-2834

Email: mbhuber@buffalo.edu

Preparation

To engage with this project, you will work through a series of Project-Based Collaboration digital badges to guide your experience. 

To get started, contact the project mentor using the contact information above to discuss availability and after you’ve received approval, you can start the Project Preparation Digital Badge. Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor

Preparation guidance

Once you have registered for the Project Preparation Digital Badge, you will receive further instructions related to the activities you will need to complete. In addition, you will also complete the following preparation activities for this particular project:

  • Interested students will be given a copy of "On Tanzania Time: Celebrating 10 Years of Friendship, Engagement and Discovery in the Mara Region" to read and reflect upon in a 1-page essay that articulates why they're drawn to the project and what they hope to contribute.
  • Students will also meet with UB Librarian, Cindi Tysick, to complete an annotated bibliography including resources related to the project and contextual issues.