Pads4Her Sustainability Workshop
This has been an incredibly exciting and busy week at Uganda For Her! Our first ever Girls Leadership Summit on August 17th proved amazingly successful and we were able to reach over 80 girls with empowerment workshops, activities and speeches while also supplying pads to all who attended. Not only did we successfully implement our first Leadership Conference, but we also implemented our first ever Pads4Her workshop! The workshop offered to teach local women that are no longer in school how to make their own reusable pads on August 18th.
While visiting schools and handing out pads, our team at Uganda For Her recognized a gap in the sustainability during these outreaches. Eventually the reusable pads we hand out will become worn and must be replaced before we are able to visit the girls at that school again. While we love being able to give girls the opportunity to stay in school with the use of reusable pads, we recognized that girls cannot always rely on an organization such as ours for said materials to help accommodate their period on a monthly basis, and our pads only reach a demographic of girls that are still in school. A more sustainable solution that Uganda For Her has implemented into their work is the development of the Pads4her workshop. These workshops bring together women from a variety of communities to teach them how to make reusable pads. The invitation was extended to about 25 local women and leaders of their communities as a pilot project and we had a total of 17 people who were able to attend. We expected only women to attend, however we were pleasantly surprised when when a male decided to participate in our workshop, as he recognized the need for his sisters and mother to have access to such important resources. We hoped that the women attending would become leaders in their communities and share our teachings with others. We believe that by teaching and empowering these women we can empower a community to make progressive change to tackle period poverty.
With the help of one of our team members; the woman and seamstress responsible for sewing the pads we distribute to our girls, Joy Chidolue took the lead and taught those who attended how to make our pads. Uganda For Her provided the initial materials alongside the information pertaining to how much the materials would cost and where to access it. We wanted these men and women to be fully equipped to continue making their own reusable sanitary pads and to teach others in their communities how to do so.
Our goal with this workshop was simple: long term sustainability. The age-old, give a person a fish, feed them for a day, or teach a person to fish and feed them for a lifetime applies here. At Uganda For Her we want to do more than just provide pads to keep school- aged girls in school. We want to create community access to information on how to make reusable cloth pads to live a more sustainable lifestyle! In doing this, we hope to further empower women as leaders in their communities by giving them access to information, not just access to a pad itself. The workshop turned out to be a huge success and took up the majority of the day reaping wonderful results! Women left excited about their new pads, freshly sown, and enthused to have the information they needed to share with other members of their community. Uganda For Her is thankful for and proud of every person that participated in the workshop. We are so grateful for the opportunity to teach people how to sew their own pads and take on leadership roles within their communities to ensure sustainable futures for women and girls across Uganda!
By: Jill Lowndes