Giving girls the opportunity to remain in education and creating public confidence through the Pretty Box Project.

Managing menstrual hygiene in low income communities is difficult due to lack of access to feminine hygiene products and few adequate sanitary facilities. Studies in Uganda have found that many girls struggle to attend and do well in school due to inadequate resources to manage their menstrual periods. In Uganda regarding menstrual hygiene management has been primarily among school-aged girls. School going girls miss schools at least two days during their menstruation month. The primary reasons have been reported as discomfort or pain. It was also found that some schools toilet facilities have inadequate toilet facilities to support good waste menstrual hygiene management. Schools only have pit latrines and none of them provide soap to the pupils/students and no disposal area for feminine hygiene products

Youth link networks on menstrual hygiene management in Uganda
Youth Link Networks implemented the Pretty Box Project in March 2018 at St Paul Nasuti secondary school to eliminate the challenges faced by girls going through menstruation period. During the project launch, 500 girls were gifted with a Pretty Box that contained a 12-18month reusable sanitary kit, 2x pairs of underwear, soap and a menstrual cycle calendar tracker.  

in 2019 ST. Paul Nasuuti was provided with sewing machines and facilitated workshops to the teachers and prefect students on how to make sanitary pads for a continuous campaign to reduce on the number of school drop and irregular attendance due to limited access to menstrual hygiene material.

YLN staff members are well capacitated with enough knowledge to support training of girls and carry out follow up assessments to identify more possible factors that may arise to affect the menstrual hygiene management. Follow ups are made in joint support with staff members, para social workers and youth mentors.

Why reusable cotton pads?

To ensure sustainability, youth link networks decided to provide girls with reusable pads. Today women have much confidence in using reusable pads made from natural cotton. These cotton pads have changed the women’s experience towards menstruation cycle.

  • Reduces allergies and thrushes:  unlike the synthetic pads which promote the growth of germs and fungal infections in humid climate these pads discourages such developments on the skin and they are soft, the disposable menstrual products are not user effective and they do lead to skin irritation and other complications.
  • Survey shows that cloth pads are linked to shorter periods and reduce premenstrual syndrome. On several occasion these who use disposable menstrual products complain of many days of bleeding. But according to recent research shows that women that have switched to reusable cotton pad experience shorter periods and also their PMS has reduced drastically.
  • Cloth pads are more comfortable, leak proof and easier to clean: there are many females

 who are not comfortable with the plastic lining of the synthetic pads. And most times use them because they have no option. Reusable pads are the solution for them. These pads have press buttons fastening on its wings, which keeps them in place and avoid leakage and the are available in all sizes thus you choose the depending on your flow

Apart from being great for your health, reusable cotton pads also help in reducing on the amount of biodegradable waste thereby reducing pollution and toxicity in the environment.

Thus youth link networks made the best alternative to choosing the reusable pads which are healthier and eco-friendly.

The journey still continues, youth link network is readily available to collaborate with any potential partner willing to support the same community

Youth Link Network’s is a non-government organization working in the Eastern Uganda, supported by two teams based in Iganga and London.  The pretty box project is under process to expand its geographical scope of work and therefore any kind of support is welcomed. Our email for contact is admin@youthlinknetworks.org

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