Everyday is Menstrual Health Day: Meet the work and people of AFRIpads
The 28th of May is Menstrual Health Day*. And for this day we partnered up with Love Stories and launched a limited edition of our period underwear. With the purchase of each pair of underwear, Love Stories will make a donation to support the menstrual needs of 3 women in Uganda for an entire year via the AFRIpads Foundation.
Who is AFRIpads?
While volunteering in Uganda AFRIpads founders, Paul and Sophia Grinvalds, had a rude awakening when they realized that girls were regularly skipping school because they couldn’t manage their period. It was, and still remains, a reality that thousands of girls miss school, and women miss work, due to the fact that they cannot afford or access period products. This reduces the chance that girls finish secondary school and results in women missing work and therefore income. That income which as research indicates women are more likely to spend on things like school, food and medication. Paul and Sophia were familiar with reusable pads and decided to set up AFRIpads with the aim to produce these locally: made by and for women of the local community.
Today, 15 years later, AFRIpads is a social enterprise and the largest producer of reusable menstrual products in Africa, with their factory based in Uganda. The factory provides an opportunity for more than 100 local women – to attend school and jobs. And give access to benefits like health care. Most of these products produced by these women are sold to NGO’s all over the world. Besides distribution of products, AFRIpads also provides educational kits and sets up screenings throughout Africa. AFRIpads has supported more than 5 million women with their reusable menstrual products and knowledge. From school girls to women in refugee settings to adolescents with disabilities.
Eventually the AFRIpads Foundation was also set up in the Netherlands, serving to expand the reach and further drive the mission of gender equality through the provision on critical menstrual health needs.
How to support?
If you want to support AFRIpads you can now purchase a limited edition pair of Yoni Period Underwear at Love Stories. Not in need of a pair or missed out? Go to the AFRIpads Foundation to make a direct donation. This month for just 15 Euros, you can cover the menstrual needs of 3 women in Uganda via their partner Resilient Women Uganda. Also feel free to follow AFRIpads online (Instagram: @afripadsfoundation + @afripads_ltd) and spread the word.
*and yes this day is sometimes also called Menstrual Hygiene Day, but we prefer saying Health because hygiene makes it sound like menstruation is something unclean and unhygienic, while health is a more inclusive way of talking about menstruation and how it can impact people both physically and mentally.