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QE Students Make Reusable Sanitary Goods for Girls in Uganda

Date Posted: 28/03/2022 | Posted In: Latest news

Students at QE have made hundreds of sanitary packs to send to Uganda, to help tackle period poverty and support the education of young women and girls. The teenagers bought, sewed and packaged 350 reusable sanitary pads as part of an ongoing ‘Empowering Women and Girls’ project initiated by Interact Club. Keen to make a difference to young females living in Uganda, members of Interact Club have also sent clothing packs and educational resources, and raised money to sponsor two Ugandan girls, and pay for their education.

Student Lauren Dowson said: “Every girl should have the right to go to school and access education, to be treated equally, free from discrimination. By providing sanitary pads to girls, they are more likely to remain in school and receive an education. This is hugely important, because those with little or no education are more likely to be child brides and unable to work.” Access to menstrual hygiene products in Uganda is limited, with a report by the country’s Ministry of Education and Sports finding that over a third of females use pieces of cloth, toilet paper and cotton wool. UN children’s agency UNICEF estimated that 60% of girls in Uganda miss class because their schools lack basic hygiene facilities. Many fall behind, leave school and are then forced to marry. Jessica Fairley, a first-year student said: “We’ve worked hard to reduce period poverty, sewing and providing these reusable pads not only for girls in Uganda but also for women living in refuges and on the streets here in the UK. Something that was relatively simple for us to do has made a huge difference to many lives.”

Interact Club also set up a small social enterprise, selling annual cake subscriptions, to raise money to sponsor two Ugandan schoolgirls, Faith, 5, and Sharon, 13, and pay for their ongoing education, uniforms and school meals. Through ‘Pass It On Trust Uganda’, a charity organisation working to improve education in Uganda, the club has also sent school resources, clothes and teaching aids. A first-year student Nicole Seal said Interact Club proactively promotes equal opportunities. “I chose to become involved because, sadly, worldwide there is still a lack of basic support for many women,” she said. “The Empowering Women and Girls project allows us to make a dent in providing that support and, as a group, we are always trying to think of new ideas to make a difference both locally and internationally.” Nancy Wall, Interact Club Co-ordinator, said: “Our students are really making a difference by providing hygiene packs, sanitary products and educational resources that we often take for granted. They recognise that not everyone is as fortunate in life and are empowering women and girls in the hope that one day, everyone will be on a level playing field.”