Only through educational and vocational training can girls in developing countries change their future. The #1 reasons girls in Uganda drop out of school is their monthly cycle. This project provides a sustainable and eco-friendly solution: reusable sanitary pads. In addition, girls will receive vocational training and learn how to make the pads themselves, which they will share with other girls in a pay-it-forward community outreach.
One of the major causes of disempowerment of girls in developing countries is their monthly cycle. Many girls cannot afford feminine hygiene products and as a result cannot attend school. A girl absent from school due to menstruation for 4 days of every 28 day cycle loses 13 learning days, the equivalent of two weeks of learning every school term. Studies show that every year of schooling increasing a girl's future earning power by 10 to 20 percent, allowing her to break the cycle of poverty.
This project provides a multifaceted solution:
1) Supply eco-friendly reusable sanitary pad kits
2) Vocational training for girls to learn seamstress skills. As the girls learn to sew, they make pad kits that they will share with other girls in need
3) Synergy with woman's health NGOs to share pads and health education
4) Train local women and set up a manufacturing facility for pads, adding to local income
5) Petition the Uganda Parliament to provide funding for pads in education budget
Educated girls are more likely to become empowered women; they are more likely to take control of their lives, have economic security, and raise fewer and healthier children who will in turn be more likely to be educated themselves. The girls in the program will not only be able to stay in school, but will learn a marketable vocational skill and selfless service. The manufacturing facility will boast local income and provide a source of funding to establish similar programs at other schools.