We are raising money to introduce menstrual cups to Likoma Island on Lake Malawi
in central Africa.
Menstrual cups, also known as 'moon-cups', are made from medical grade silicone, are bell-shaped vessels, which are inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual blood. The cup is emptied twice per day and then cleaned by simply boiling at the end of each period. Cups last for at least 10 years
At present, most women on Likoma Island use cloth rags or pieces of blanket
as sanitary protection when they have their periods.
There are very few shops on the island where they are able to purchase sanitary products and most women and girls are unable to afford them.
In the 21st century we do not feel that it is right that women should have to endure such discomfort and lack of sanitation when they have their periods. Teenage girls should not have to miss school due to period poverty.
We are now established as a charity called UFULU - www.ufulu.org
Ufulu means 'freedom' in Chichewa and we are determined to provide menstrual cups to all
of the women and girls on Likoma who would like to have one, so they have freedom from period poverty.
Not only that, but at a time when we are all
trying to reduce our levels of waste, we would like to provide the women of the island, with a better, long term, hygienic and eco-friendly option for their sanitary protection.
Every female who would like to have a menstrual cup attends a workshop.
Each workshop lasts for about 1-2 hours and includes information on female menstrual cycles as well as open discussions on the issues faced by women dealing with their periods.
We talk about feminine hygiene and provide better information on female anatomy and reproductive organs. Many women on the island have only a basic grasp of most of the above and we are trying to improve their knowledge to help them help themselves.
At the end of every workshop, the women and girls are given the following:
A menstrual cup in its own organic cotton storage bag
A bar of anti-septic soap for washing her hands when she uses her cup - (these are provided in a beeswax wrap, to keep it clean, safe and dry, as well as reducing any waste packaging on the island)
A set of instructions on how to use and care for her cup
A recycled food tin to boil her cup clean in, at the start and end of her period
So far, we have given out over 400 cups. But there are over 3,000 women and girls on Likoma and we would like to help them all. Every year there are more girls beginning puberty and in need of decent sanitary protection. Our aim is to provide a long term on-going solution to period poverty.
Menstrual cups are reusable
. They leave no waste,
which is a major issue on a small island on a lake.
Menstrual cups last for 10 years
and only need to be changed twice a day
Menstrual cups afford the women dignity, peace of mind and an end to period poverty
Thank you for your donation - we really appreciate it.
Please feel free to share this campaign with anyone you know that might wish to donate.
And have a look at our website, www.ufulu.org
which has updates on all of the women and girls that you have enabled us to help.
Let's end Period Poverty ......for good.