Wondering what is the latest news for PHAU in menstrual health? Other than continuing our project in Adjumani introducing ‘Bfree’ menstrual cup in schools, PHAU has a new partnership, recently becoming the implementing partner for an Australian charity called the Cova Project - https://www.thecovaproject.com
The Cova Project is a women’s led NGO based in Sydney that distributes menstrual cups to local partners in countries such as Malawi, Ghana, and Liberia. Menstrual cups are a reusable hygiene product that last for 10 years meaning they are extremely cost-saving. Made of silicone, they have no negative impact on the environment, unlike disposal pads. They are leak-proof, comfortable and are being used all around the world. The menstrual cups that are being utilized for this project are ‘FlowCups’ (https://flowcup.com/) sent from Sweden.
The beneficiaries for the initial stage of this project are girls and women in both Kampala and a refugee settlement in Western Uganda. How did we choose which communities to work with? We took several factors into consideration. We wanted to
- Leverage on existing partnerships on ground,
- Work with refugees after observing high acceptability of menstrual cups and
- Support our own community of Makindye.
In September we visited graduates of a tailoring course at Yimba Uganda, an NGO on Salaama Road in Makindye. I had worked with some of them on the ‘Ensonga’ Project in schools when they had taught students how to tailor reusable pads, and I felt they would be good future trainers for their communities. Two months after the training, the 8 women are all using their cups! Of course with initial challenges but all persisted. We asked during the follow-up: “What is the best thing about using the menstrual cup?”
“It’s comfortable and I don’t spend a lot”
“They are more hygienic, comfortable and cost-friendly”
“Easy to clean compared to reusable pads, it’s cheap compared to other products”
“Less burning of the skin”
“Easy to clean yourself since it takes all the blood in the cup”
We then went down to Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Isingiro District, to meet with scholars of a refugee-run partner organization ‘Opportunigee’. We have worked with Opportunigee on a poetry project, asked the Team Leader to select 12 girls and women to be FlowCup Trainers. Since October, 7 out of the 12 women are happily using their cups. We continue to follow up on a monthly basis to assess acceptability and usage and are now planning for training in December of a larger number of women during a women’s seminar.