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What is the Knickers for Knowledge Project ?

What is the Knickers for Knowledge
The Knickers for Knowledge Project is a joint project that SI Barnstaple has been operating since 2011 with our partners SI Bulawayo in Zimbabwe.
How did the project start?

A club member raised the issue of how girls in sub-Saharan Africa and other poor areas of the world were having their education ruined by missing school through not having the necessary sanitary protection.

Early Stages of the Project

To start the project we researched the issue very fully over the next few months. One of our members was visiting SI Bulawayo and we compiled a questionnaire to ascertain whether they felt it was an issue in their area. Their responses showed overwhelmingly that it was very relevant that they were very eager to work with us on a joint project.

When did you get the idea of purchasing 
a sanitary protection making machine ?

Fairly soon after we started we had heard that in India there were simple machines being produced to manufacture sanitary protecon in rural area as cottage industries.. We were very interested in following the development of these various machines. However we had serious reservations about whether the machines would be robust enough for the amount of use they would have. Also it was proving very difficult to get detailed information about construction of the machines or whether the raw material  to construct the pads was available in Zimbabwe after the initial stock was used up.Also there were issues about providing training for the women that were going to use them.

Was the project on hold until you found the right machine? 

No. We started the project very quickly. From the start of our partnership with SI Bulawayo we have been providing new underwear and sanitary protection for girls and teachers in rural schools in the Bulawayo area on a regular basis. Two of our members have visited and helped with the distribution.

How did you hear about a British built 

We had been in contact with a women called Amy Peake who had started her own charity Loving Humanity. She had been installing sanitary and incontinence making machines in refugee camps in Lebanon. It was good to learn from her experience.She had researched and installed machines sourced in India. She is now using machines built in Britain to British standard which she has demonstrated to a group of club members

How will the women be trained to use 
the machine ?

Amy  Peake has been extremely helpful and has also introduced a trainer to us who will teach the women in Zimbabwe – he is an Englishman from the UK who will go with the machine, set it up, and teach the women on site. 














working with SI Bulawayo to provide children with new underwear
Working with members from SI Bulawayo to provide school children with new underwear and the older girls and teachers with sanitary protection
Girls at a rural school in the Bulawayo area receiving the sanitary protection that had been delivered by SI Bulawayo
Girls receiving the sanitary protection that had been delivered jointly by members from SI Bulawayo and members from SI Barnstaple who were visiting.



Bundles of sanitary protection that had been delivered as part of the Knickers for Knowledge project
Bundles of Sanitary protection being delivered from the Knickers for Knowledge Project



sorting cllothes for the knickers for Knowledge Project
Club members sorting used clothing which is sold to get funds for the Knickers for Knowledge project
Grand Funraising Draw doe nixkwea for Knowledge
Grand Fundraising Raffle for the Knickers for Knowledge project