Mobile app helps distribute sanitary towels to needy girls

By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya’s Chase Bank Foundation and ZanaAfrica Group have launched a mobile application to aid in national sanitary pad distribution. Tens of thousands of girls miss school because they cannot afford sanitary towels.

Dubbed ‘the Nia Network’, the new application, which can be downloaded through the Chase Bank website, allows participants to offer donations of sanitary towels and monitor what others have contributed.

The application is currently compatible with Android-based phones, but there are plans to expand to other operating systems.

Next steps for the application include standardising distribution methodology, directing donors to the disadvantaged schools, and monitoring the impact of pads on school performance metrics.

The Nia Network was conceptualized in 2008 but only became a reality after partnering with Chase Bank Foundation.

ZanaAfrica Founder and CEO, Megan White Mukuria, first launched the National Sanitary Towels Campaign in 2006 when she was then incoming-President of the Rotary Club of Nairobi South.

This campaign, in partnership with the Kenya Ministry of Education, the Girl Child Network, P&G, and others, brought greater awareness to the plight of over 800,000 girls who miss 6 weeks of school a year due to lack of sanitary towels.

Since then, thousands of well-wishers, companies, religious and service organizations, and charities have donated pads.

“Partnering with ZanaAfrica ties in to our aspiration of being in the forefront of women's empowerment, as women are the core pillar of our society," said Duncan Kabui, Chase Bank CEO. 

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