Flaviana Matata: Making It Possible For Girls To Attend School Across Africa
The Flaviana Matata Foundation, a beneficiary of Diamonds Do Good, has long worked to help Tanzanian girls from underserved communities achieve their education goals. The Foundation has supported girls in Tanzania by providing financial and material support, including school supplies, tuition, and renovation to school facilities for years.
Flaviana Matata, commonly known for her career as an international super model and 2007-2008 Miss Universe Tanzania, is herself an established entrepreneur and businesswoman. She has watched and supported these girls on their journey from elementary, secondary school and college students to becoming young women whose dreams are being fulfilled with their own careers.
Through her work with girls over the years, Matata realized and quickly addressed a critical need stemming from girls being forced to stay home each month because of their period and lack of sanitary pads.
“When we started distributing school supplies, we found that sanitary pads were a great need for all of the girls in school. They miss at least 3-5 days of school every month when they are on their period,” Flaviana Matata said. “This is causing them to fall behind.”
With the girls’ education at the forefront, Flaviana Matata created the LAVY brand, a business with the expectation that everything they do will help their local community. At the beginning, through the Nail Care Products line, LAVY trained and continues to train girls how to do nails with many starting their own nail salon businesses. Some of the girls work under the LAVY brand and work in different salons as nail technicians.
In July 2020, LAVY launched a sanitary pad line where 10% of the profit will go to the foundation to provide free sanitary pads every month to schoolgirls. Currently, 1,000 girls across Tanzania are receiving free sanitary pads every month.
“The need for sanitary pads is greater than we thought,” Lusajo Mwaisaka, Coordinator of the Flaviana Matata Foundation, said. “We have received a very large number of requests that expands our capabilities, and we hope to one day be able to help everyone that sends a request. The help is coming from the selling of LAVY products and personal funding from Flaviana, but with the proper funding in the future, we will be able to help more.”
The Foundation has also started receiving requests from girls outside of Tanzania.
“This is more than a national disaster,” Flaviana Matata said. “This is a continental disaster that is disrupting the education of young girls.”
In the month of December, the Flaviana Matata Foundation held a #DonateAPeriod Campaign that raised enough money for the Foundation to support 1,000 girls each month for year 2021. Lavy Sanitary Pads are great quality, non-toxic and cruelty free, and the brand is looking to expand beyond Nail Care and Sanitary Pads, every product that they introduce in the market has to make an impact to the community.
LAVY is looking to grow at their own pace. For now, they are experimenting with their body care products and diapers.
“Every product must not be in place to only make money,” Flaviana Matata said. “It must make an impact to the community that is in.”