By: Griffin Smith When I joined the Brick by Brick team earlier this year, I was given the task of finding a sustainable solution that would help the girls in our Brick by Brick schools manage their monthly menstruation. The reality in Uganda is that low-income families have to decide between buying disposable pads and household necessities. Girls that cannot afford disposable pads use anything they can find as a substitute (rags, socks, newspapers, etc.). These substitutes are inadequate and often unsanitary. Finding a solution to this monthly challenge would improve the girls’ school attendance, academic performance and overall quality of life.
After collaborating with fellow Peace Corps Volunteers, I introduced the idea of the Reusable Menstrual Pad Project to the Brick by Brick team. The Reusable Menstrual Pad Project began in Uganda with Peace Corps Volunteer Lizzie Kazan. She had a simple idea: increase access to low-cost washable menstrual pads by teaching girls how to sew the pads themselves. The project has grown substantially since its inception and now includes an educational component on menstrual health and hygiene.
In the next few months, the Brick by Brick team will work to develop a plan on how to implement this project in our school communities. We are very excited to start working on this project and hope that our work will ease the numerous challenges that girls cope with every month.