Changemaker: Winnie Nakatudde
Country of Implementation: Uganda
Young girls and women in rural areas like Ibanda continue to use dirty old rags, leaves and papers every month during menstruation. Imagine a girl in a classroom, she is in pain and she is not aware that her menstruation has begun. She has no pads, and the boys are looking at her and laughing at her. That’s what most girls in Uganda go through. To the rural girls, the menstruation stigma at first menstruation coupled with the lack of pads due to poverty has made girls drop out of school. This is why Winnie Nakatudde and the team with like minds came in to cover the gap by volunteering and initiating the provision of reusable sanitary pads to these girls in 2021. These include; Anita Mercy, Hilda Ayebare, and Stephen Bukomeko.
They were able to distribute over 1000 sanitary pads to over 500 girls. Our product is liked by the users because its natural. Its usability isn't technical and is readily available within the local setup. During the outreach in 2021, 7 schools were reached for both primary and secondary girls. The process included mobilization of resources, purchasing of materials, 5 portable sewing machines, creating awareness in 10 schools and giving out of reusable sanitary pads. With time, the team devised means of reducing costs which was making the pads using hands. This was spread to more 10 schools who had not received free pads so that they can learn how to make by themselves. This initiative was led by the team leader Winnie who had a personal experience while growing up with her single mother. Now schools like Nyamarebe Secondary School, Kibubura Primary school and others in Ibanda have adopted the use of Reusable sanitary pads due to their idea. Now, they want to expand the project to neighboring districts such as Mbarara and Bushenyi, in order to reach more schools and empower more girls by 2025. They believe that by sharing their knowledge and resources, they can make a lasting impact on menstrual hygiene management in the region.
For more information visit: https://instagram.com/winnie.the.changemaker?igshid=dXV5OTM0a3BxbWRs