By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Movit Products Limited, the manufacturers of Skincare and hair products has confirmed that the company will be part of a five-year Pad for Every Initiative fundraiser spearheaded by Msichana Uganda, a local NGO that aspires to promote menstrual hygiene amongst girls especially in school.
Speaking at the campaign launch held at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala, Stephen Mukisa, the Head of Branding at Movit Products Limited said the company seeks to join hands with Msichana Uganda and other partners to fundraise for the five-year Pad Every Girl initiative.
The project looks at providing reusable sanitary towels for girls who can’t afford to get sanitary towels across the country.
Mukisa said one of the biggest reasons that girls drop out of school is because of unavailability or sanitary towels being out of reach.
“As a company, we are joining hands with other willing partners to be able to accelerate this project. We are here for the fundraiser and we hope to explore more sustainable partnerships for the next five years,” he said.
Mukisa said that Movit Products Limited will seek how it can partner with Msichana Uganda to grow capacity, “so we can reach more girls with more towels and more girls can stay in school and keep their dignity.”
Providing sanitary pads to schoolgirls is a controversial subject in Uganda. President Yoweri Museveni has previously pledged to buy sanitary towels for girls in need but the pledge did not come to pass.
The government estimates that 30 percent of Ugandan girls from poor families miss school because they lack sanitary towels but the first lady who is also the minister of education told parliament the government didn’t have enough funding for the president’s $4.4 million initiative.
The lack of affordable sanitary products is a very common challenge and girls in rural secondary schools often use and substitute whatever they can to ensure that they are protected during menstruation.
Winifred Nakandi, Msichana Uganda Executive Director unveiled the three aspects of the Pad Every Girl project that include menstrual hygiene management, employment, and environmental sustainability.
Ms. Nakandi said her organization is in the cycle to answer the question on reusable sanitary towels but can only achieve this in collaboration with willing partners.
“We want to distribute hygienic, eco-friendly, durable, and reusable sanitary pads to girls in upper primary and lower secondary school, to enable them to go through their menstrual periods with utmost dignity,” Ms. Nakandi said adding that the government should make sanitary pads for girls a priority.
Public debate about the subject continues, and the government Members of Parliament who attended the fundraiser, Muhammad Nsereko for Kampala Central and Phionah Nyamutooro, Youth MP for Central Uganda committed to raising the matter on the floor of Parliament while Nsereko wants sanitary pads to be sold free of value-added tax.