We gave them thousands of dollars in scholarship money - so how did these young women spend it?
Since winning our inaugural Women of the Future scholarship, Susanna Matters has used her $20,000 fund to grow her inspiring charity, Goods for Girls, which provides recyclable sanitary pads for girls in Kenya who would usually miss attending school without these vital products.
In the past six months, Susanna has hired a full-time employee in Kenya, a teacher at the Muhaka Secondary School, who has boosted production of the washable, textile sanitary pad from the 200 per month that were being made pre-scholarship, to more than 600 per month.
The teacher, Rachel Kivoya, is also training community health workers as part of her new role and is set to take the sanitary pad-making project to nine different schools and one orphanage in the Muhaka region.
Goods for Girls has also commissioned the building of the school's first girls' toilet block, has extended the reach of the project to Makongeni village, 10km from Muhaka, and has partnered with the Community Health Africa Trust, which will distribute the sanitary products via community health workers and mobile clinics.
"This scholarship is changing the lives of women all over Kenya," says Susanna. "It's not just a small project anymore, and it's gone beyond what I ever would have hoped."
Here's what Susanna and our other finalists have been up to in the past 12 months.
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- PuzzlesThe Australian Women's Weekly February Issue Online Entry
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