The Versatile Cloth

2014-05-04 16.40.17








Many people all over the world depend on large rectangular pieces of cloth. In Africa, it’s known by many names: Chitenge, Kitenge, Ankara, Kanga and so on. The fabrics are as unique as the women we work with. All beautiful and talented in their own way, woven to hold society together, just like the threads in the cloth.

“Women are the fabric of society” — Dr. Natasha Conklin- Board Member, WaterEmpowerment








Just as they have many names, these cloths have many uses. You can carry you baby in them, dress your lower/ upper body, used for warmth in the winter, used to cover hair, used to cover windows, used to cover chairs, used to cover the bed, used as a babies diaper, but most especially– used as sanitary pads during menstruation…etc.  The African cloth is also used as an important symbolic traditional gift. It is much appreciated by women in various settings.








May 28th is Menstrual Hygiene Day . In celebration of this day, we are   having a ‘chitenge drive’ in Zambia. We’ll be taking donations of old or new pieces of chitenge that we’ll give out to girls and women in in as many communities as we can reach. We will also hold several workshops on how to make sanitary pads because #MentruationMatters


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