UGANDA – Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) has announced plans to set up a factory making reusable sanitary pads at Namakwa, Mukono district.
According to the Observer, the plant is envisaged to create employment opportunities for over 200 vulnerable girls and women who will be trained and up-skilled to make and market the pads.
It will also improve the lives of 50,000 girls and women who would otherwise miss school days or other movements away from home.
URCS said most of the funding has come from the Randal Charitable Foundation, UK.
In a statement by URCS, once fully established, the plant will manufacture 200,000 reusable pads per year, which is the equivalent of 50,000 four-pad packs.
Around 20 per cent of the pads will be given to 10,000 vulnerable girls in school free of charge. The remaining 80 per cent will be commercialised to 40,000 girls and women in the wider community at a subsidised price, which will ensure the long-term sustainability of the manufacturing facility.
The project will impart specific skills, such as recordkeeping and marketing, as well as support supervision and monitoring.
“After acquiring the required production skills, each female trainee is targeted to produce 50 reusable pads per day, which equates to 1,000 per year,” the statement added.
Once the first group of 20 trainees has mastered the skills to produce the reusable pads, they will then recruit another group of 20 to expand their labour force.
The statement said the project is part of a collaboration between Uganda Red Cross Society and the Ministry of Education and Sports and other partners, which in 2019 launched a countrywide initiative called, ‘Keep a Girl in School’.
The main aim of this project is to improve menstrual health management among primary and secondary school-going adolescents in vulnerable communities.
During the implementation of the project, URCS is partnering with She for She, an indigenous organisation whose goal is to ensure that every menstruator can attend school by improving access to pads and providing comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights education.
She for She boasts experience in training community groups to sew pads and, partnering with established local organisations, to provide education and dialogue on menstruation and related menstrual hygiene management.