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“GEMpads” - BBI helps impoverished Uganda schoolgirls market their hand-crafted sanitary pads

Posted: Thu, September 15, 2016 | By: Women’s Equality

AFRIpads” are a popular product with girls in Uganda. Donors to Brighter Brains Institute (BBI) purchased over $1,500 of these washable, reusable sanitary pads last year, to give to girls at our humanist schools.

The cost of disposable sanitary pads is prohibitive to most rural Ugandan girls. Many post-puberty girls, without sanitary pads, don’t attend school to avoid embarrassment. Frequently they fall behind in their studies, and drop out of school altogether. These girls are at risk of getting pregnant, or getting married young, or being stuck in low-paid jobs for their lifetime.

BBI appreciates the AFRIpad product, but we thought the simple construction could be replicated by girls in our humanist schools. Sure enough, we found a wonderful group of girls in Kyarumba who can make the pads.

The 206 girls are in “GEM” — Girls Education Movement. They are primarily in secondary school.

The purpose of GEM is to encourage orphaned, poor, and vulnerable girls to stay in school, by conducting fund-raising activities - selling handcrafts, and gardening - that raise money to buy books, school supplies, and school uniforms.

The GEM girls sew wonderful, washable sanitary pads for themselves that they call GEMpads. They can make a pack of four GEMpads for $5, the same price as the AFRIpads.

GEM will promote itself as a humanist organization, and work in collaboration with other girls at the BBI-sponsored Garama Secondary Humanist School. The group can make 80 pads per week, and deliver them to local schoolgirls.

Donors who buy GEMpads will be helping Ugandan girls in two ways: 1) You will provide a free washable pad to a girl, that will enable her to stay in school.
2) You will provide $5 in funds to a girls group, that will help all the girls stay in school.


Right now, you can support this business initiative by either buying the pads HERE or contributing to a Sewing Machine Fund so the girls in GEM can increase their speed of their production, HERE


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