Ann Pads makes waves nationally

The Zone recently met up with Hermine Bertolini, who is the mastermind behind the initiative.

12 March 2019 | Education

Ester Kamati

Bertolini said the project started after she had a discussion with a friend in South Africa about reusable pads.

She then decided to realise her dream with the passion to give underprivileged young girls their dignity back, by providing them with pads that can be used for up to four years. This saves them from the financial stress of continuously buy pads.

For as long as they continue to take care of the girl child and are well maintained, these pads can be washed and last up to four years. They come in a pack that contains two thin, two medium and two thick pads, as well as an instruction manual written in English, Oshiwambo, Otjiherero and Portuguese.

Ann Pads pays close attention to moisture management and absorbency to avoid any leakages.

These pads, produced in Namibia, are also environmentally friendly as they bring plastic usage to a minimum and are the ideal packaging for environmentalists.

The elderly can also use them, especially those who have urinary incontinence (bladder control problems).

In August 2018, the initiative was started in Bertolini's home in Khomasdal with her own funds that she had accumulated.

Anschen Kisting, a student at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) is one of her partners, and says the best part is changing the lives of multiple schoolgirls and seeing how thankful they are for these pads. Ann Pads has a total of three partners, one of which is a fully committed to the project.

The pads can be ordered for N$200 per pack of six, and since they do not have an outlet, Bertolini personally delivers them.

Sponsors have shown interest in the project and have placed orders that were donated to several schools such as the Maasdorp Combined School and afterschool centres. Pupkewitz is one of the donors, as well as the Physically Active Youth Centre, which made a purchase they donated to girls who are part of their afterschool centre.

Ann Pads takes pride in engaging young girls and educating them about menstrual cycles, how to track their cycles, as well as on the rights of children. Boys also have a role to play, says Bertolini, by fulfilling their duty to protect their mothers, sisters, girlfriends and other female counterparts.

Kisting adds that boys can contribute to the project by speaking about the issue and supporting woman in this cause, to make them more comfortable when they're on their periods.

Girls are the main priority when it comes to this project and Ann Pads says it is not a fly-by-night project, but are here to stay and defend the interests of the girl child. Not only do they intend to expand to the rest of Namibia, but also want to become a known brand all over Africa.

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