KAMPALA: The AFRIpads Foundation, the charitable arm of AFRIpads on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, donated menstrual kits and underwear to 100 teenage mothers and school girls in Naguru Teenage Home in Kampala.
Gertrude Adeker Emojong, the National Marketing, and Communications Lead said that over UGX 2,800,000 worth of menstrual kits are expected to last the beneficiaries 12 months.
Emojong said : “To celebrate International Women Day’s 2022 theme of: “gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, we decided to give back to the community of teenagers and young mothers at Naguru Teenage Information and Centre (NTIHC) . We believe that empowering teenage mothers is an important task, particularly in light of the alarming increase of teenage pregnancies in relation to COVID-19. We have partnered with the Naguru Teenage Information and Health Centre to provide a long-lasting menstrual health and hygiene solution to 100 teenage girls.”
She also noted that the AFRIpads schoolgirl kit has been developed through user-centered design in collaboration with school-aged girls, to create a set of reusable pads that best meet the needs and preferences of this age group. “We are passionate about enabling girls to overcome menstrual barriers so they can achieve their full potential,” Emojong remarked.
Addressing the media, Sam Asiimwe Mugalura, the Program Manager at Naguru Teenage Health and Information Centre in Kiswa, Bugolobi, also noted that out of ten kids, one will not attend school because of menstrual pains and lack of pads, leading to a 20% loss of education. “Those who miss out later dropout drop out or get left behind,” he added, also noting that once these girl children drop out of school which acts as a safety net, they are vulnerable to teenage pregnancies.
“This is when AFRIpads steps in to support these girl children,” Mugalura said, adding that over the years, Naguru Teenage Information and Centre has done outreaches in about 8 facilities in Kampala, and 32 facilities in 8 districts in the Central region.
Covering about 4.5 million girls in the country, AFRIpads continues to support the girl child even during the post-COVID-19 era where most girls are unable to afford pads because their families were dragged into poverty.
One of the beneficiaries a 20-year old Carolyn Masika, a senior three dropout at Bishop Ogez Highschool in Bushenyi narrated that it is normally hard for a young girl to do without sanitary pads which makes a good number of them run out of school since they feel ashamed.
In addition to donating pads, AFRIpads also embarked on empowering teenage mothers and schoolgirls with knowledge related to puberty and menstrual hygiene by availing of the necessary comic books.
AFRIpads is a social business that specializes in the local manufacture and global supply of high-quality, reusable sanitary pads. As the leading manufacturer and supplier of reusable sanitary pads on the continent, AFRIpads proudly manufactures 100% of its products in Uganda.
AFRIpads has been a pioneer of Menstrual Health and Hygiene in Uganda since its inception in 2010.