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NGO fights period poverty among vulnerable girls in Malawi
Ufulu Malawi, an NGO registered in the United Kingdom and Malawi, says is dedicated to eradicating period poverty in Malawi by providing free menstrual cups to women and girls.
Malawi: Ufulu Malawi, an NGO registered in the United Kingdom and Malawi, says is dedicated to eradicating period poverty in Malawi by providing free menstrual cups to women and girls through educational workshops.
Widge Woolsey, the founder and CEO of Ufulu Malawi, told us in an interview that one way they promote education for girls is by distributing cups.
"Because of a lack of access to sanitary products, many girls miss school during their periods, and women are unable to work comfortably." "I founded Ufulu for this reason," Widge explained.
"Menstrual cups are provided by Ufulu because they are hygienic, safe, discreet, and reusable. Each cup will last a woman ten years. This means that every woman who receives one of our cups will be able to have a clean, safe, and dignified period for the next ten years."
Widge added that when Ufulu visits schools, they discuss puberty issues and, if requested, provide guidance to girls on sexual reproductive health issues.
"Many girls are hesitant to discuss SRH with older women in their community, and many girls are unaware of the consequences of having sex without appropriate family planning once they have a period. By providing the opportunity to discuss SRH in a safe and informative environment, Ufulu hopes to reduce the number of unwanted teenage pregnancies in Malawi," Widge explained.
Williams Botoman, Director of Light for the Elderly and Youth said that sanitary products are a basic human right for every woman and girl child and that proper intervention is required.
"For every female, having a period is unavoidable. "Every female will have a period from the age of 12 to the age of 50, but obtaining sanitary products is a challenge for many women due to the costs, thus the need for more support to the girl child," Botoman said.
Speaking on the topic of girl child education, Salima's Traditional Authority Kalonga praised Ufulu Malawi for its interventions, which are changing the lives of many girls.
"In Malawi, period poverty is a huge unspoken issue. Girls suffer when they are unable to attend school due to a lack of access to appropriate sanitary products, so as a young organisation, we are overjoyed and grateful for this initiative," Kalonga said.
Kalonga also urged various stakeholders to work together to improve and promote girl child education.
Ufulu has distributed over 9,000 free menstrual cups in the districts of Lilongwe, Dzaleka, Zomba, Livingstonia, Salima, and Mulanje.