Uganda Red Cross Society, Randal Charitable Foundation Launches Sanitary Pad Manufacturing Plant To Produce, Train & Upskill Girls, Women 

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Uganda Red Cross Society in partnership with Randal Charitable Foundation have launched a sanitary pad manufacturing plant to produce reusable sanitary pads, train & upskill girls & women in Mukono District.

The Standard learnt that the plant launched on Friday in Namakwa, Mukono District, will significantly improve lives of 50,000 girls and women, through production of reusable sanitary pads, and create employment opportunities for over 200 vulnerable girls and women.

The facility follows a partnership between Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) and Randal Charitable Foundation, with the latter offering significant grant funding from the project.

This, at the backdrop of the UK East Africa Health Summit in 2017, where the organisers linked and presented URCS Secretary General to Board Member and event sponsor, Dr. Nik Kotecha, hence the collaboration of URCS, Education Ministry & UK partners countrywide initiative named ‘KEEP A GIRL IN SCHOOL’ in 2019, with an aim to improve menstrual health management, among primary and secondary school-going adolescents in vulnerable communities.

During the launch, Founder and Chairperson of Trustees of the Randal Charitable Foundation, Dr. Nik Kotecha OBE DL, said the mission is to directly save and significantly improve the lives of the most vulnerable across the globe. He added that without access to high-quality sanitary pads & toilets, girls cannot attend schools, hence getting trapped in homes, thus unable to earn a living.

“For many girls and women, poor access to high quality sanitary pads, as well as toilets and washrooms, is a huge barrier to attending school and can result in seriously limiting future career choices,” Dr. Nik Kotecha OBE DL said.

Founder and Chairperson of Trustees of the Randal Charitable Foundation, Dr. Nik Kotecha OBE DL commissioning the sanitary pad manufacturing plant in Namakwa, Mukono District (U). Uganda Red Cross Society & partners were in attendance.

He reiterated his commitment to enable every young person, to reach their full potential, and equal access to education for girls and boys, as an essential part of life.

Secretary General of URCS, Robert Kwesiga, commended Randal Charitable Foundation for their vital support to keep more girls in school, through manufacturing and provision of good sanitary materials. He added that this humanitarian cause will curb the problem of school dropout for girls, adding that keeping a girl in school is one of the mandates of URCS.

Global Health Fellowship Project Manager at NHS, England, Moses Mulimira, was pleased for the collaboration partnership, which is one of the flagship projects of UK East Africa Health Summit. He revealed that UK East Africa Health Summit organisers are delighted, because the manufacturing facility will have dual benefits of ensuring girls are able to stay in school, to gain a good education, and in many cases, a future free of extreme poverty. He also urged that it will deliver sustainable skilled employment, to the women and girls involved in the production and sale of the pads.

URCS Spokesperson, Irene Nakasiita (MCIPR), noted that they’re introducing ‘Keep A Girl in School, in a more stronger way, by producing reusable sanitary pads in Namakwa, Mukono. She alluded to the fact that URCS is happy to contribute, to menstrual health and hygiene management, education and school retention, and support among the vulnerable girls, to overcome extreme poverty.

Head of Commercial Banking at Ecobank, Uganda, Hellen Luyima, reckoned that they’re committed to supporting the girl child project, and encouraging other private sector organisations to do the same. She pointed out that Ecobank will continue investing in initiatives, that promote education and human dignity for girls, to create a more equal and prosperous future for all.

In sum, the fully established plant will manufacture 200,000 reusable pads, annually.

Around 20 percent of the pads will be given to 10,000 vulnerable girls in school free of charge. The remaining 80 percent will be commercialised to 40,000 girls and women in the wider community at a subsidised price, which will ensure the long-term sustainability of the manufacturing facility.

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