Unyolo launches girl hygiene initiative in Malawi schools

Marketer Thoko Unyolo has launched Girls Time, a movement that aims to keep girls in school by improving their access to menstrual hygiene.


Unyolo: Girls Time

Unyolo will launch her advocacy with a Fund-Raising tea at Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe on Wednesday.

“Unequal and inadequate coverage and access to menstrual hygiene keeps girls away from school. Many girls from underprivileged background fail to attend classes regularly due to lack of sanitary pads. This initiative aims to raise funds for supplying this vital girl need,” she said.

Unyolo said Girls Time also seeks to break the stereotypes and silence that surrounds girls’ menstrual health.

“It’s a subject least discussed and shared publicly by women of all ages. We need to be open about the issue.  The more open we’re the more aware people become of the needs of girls in the area of menstrual health,” she said.

She said by raising the profile of girls menstrual health, Girls Time hopes to find solutions to issues that hinder access to basic menstrual hygiene tools and aids for girls. She cited poverty as one of the issues.

Where girls have no economic means to access sanitary pads, they keep quiet and resort to unhealthy alternatives. Unfortunately these pose a serious risk to their reproductive health. As a starting point, we want to raise funds and demonstrate what difference we could make if each one of us contributed a little something towards this cause,” she said.

The marketer said a ticket to the Fund-Raising Breakfast is going at K15,000 and that all proceeds from the event will go towards buying sanitary pads for girls.

She said Girls Time has partnered with 21-year Catherine Kita of Blantyre who makes re-cycled pads. Kita is founder of one of the fastest growing youth networks in Malawi, Youth Corner Girls Network-YOCONET.

Girls Time has selected Mphungu Primary and Tsokankanasi schools of Lilongwe as pilot centres of the initiative.

For her part, Unyolo is an established marketing professional whose career spans multi-national FMCG and financial services brands.

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ineyo obabwa
she is a jobless woman who is trying to pay for her heavy make up!! Its nothibg to do with girls and sanitary pads. We know she is friends with mary chilima and wants to find podyera and ka project aka ayamba after being fired from standard bank coz she is apparently insane and incapable of doing a markrting job at this bank. I dont have the confidence that my.money will be put to good use. I suspect that it will fund her expensive lifestyle…..pay fees for her child and settle bills poti i hear she is the bread winner.… Read more »
ineyo obabwa

Thoko what excatly are you doing? Not long time ago you lauched a company ya seeds and days later we heard you are heading marketing at standard bank and barely 6 months down the line ndi izii. Is everything fine???? Zikachuluka sizidyeka. I am sorry sister but i guess you are doing too many and mmmmmh I wonder if your line of thinking is straight. Bola usakhale wapenga iwe…..aaaah do things implement bhobho follow things up. Osangoti bola mupeze ka tambala. You are becoming greedy and desparate..aheeeem

Moses Makoko

You are brainwashing malawians Thoko! The focused area is very questionable. I would be convinced if your initiative was targetting the girl child wholistically and not on pads alone. Let us explore all factors that can help keep the girl in school and not pads alone. If you had listed the needs of a typical girl child in malawi, sanitary pads would not appear anywhere on the list! Our girls are lacking basic things that may not be substituted in any case. Sanitary pads can be substituted.


Some of these comments show the lack of reasoning skills that afflict Malawi. This initiative is greatly needed and should be whole-heartedly supported.

Health Prefect

There is nothing to celebrate for the 6th July.10 million should be used to buy sanitary pads for a girl child country wide because hard up parents cannot afford to buy pads for their girls.That is important for our girls than handclapping for failed politicians.

Amalawi sadzatheka

Abale Unyolo is working hard to do this. That’s what she wants to do and how she wants to help. Why not help her with more Ideas instead of kunyoza. Unyolo, ignore those negative comments. Let the negativity boost your energy to work hard and prove there people wrong. Keep it up Thoko and keep going. You are doing a great job.

Lady M

This is a great initiative Madam Thoko Unyolo and I commend you for this. Wezzie Bauleni, just because you used nsalu and cotton wool doesn’t mean other girls have to use the same materials. You mention other initiatives, you can be the champion for one of those initiatives.

Let us learn to support each other and not be negative every time we see someone making an effort to change other people’s lives.

Our country will never develop with these negative, pull each other syndromes.

….sometimes we hear situation where a boy child goes looking for used condoms to try and make a plastic soccer ball which is a serious health hazard. So next time try and include boys cos they also have numerous challenges. The other thing also is that this sanitary pad issue is getting exaggerated in Africa now I don’t know who started it but I believe it’s not such a big issue that can keep a girl child away from school. One can have cartons of pads but with a teacher who gets his salary late and peanuts of a salary,… Read more »
Wezzie Bauleni

Or still let us advocate for the removal of taxes to make the sanitary pads widely available or indeed subsides them . I am not sure if these initiatives are reaching all girls in the country from Chitipa and Nsanje!!

Wezzie Bauleni

I don’t agree to this. In my time, we used nsalu but I’ve never heard of any girl in my class and school miss school because of this. Here I am I survived this through primary school, then secondary and used cotton wool in the university because of the stipend we used to get.Here I am in top management of one of the parastatals in the country. Let’s not borrow projects or initiatives for the sake of it. Let’s handle real issues affecting the girl and boy child…enough learning materials, qualified teachers, good learning environment etc

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