PURE JOY is a community enterprise in Jinja, Uganda, run by volunteers, that provides girls and women with access to cost-friendly reusable sanitary pads to help them manage their menstruation. The pads are effective, comfortable, and environmentally friendly and suitable for teen girls, birthing mothers and women. The PURE JOY project also aims to economically empower local women by providing vocational training to assist them in gaining employment. 
Rotary Club of Woy Woy District 9685 | Rotary Australia World Community Service project 24/2011-12 | Health, Education and Community Empowerment
 
 

The story so far...

When our club's volunteers visited Jinja in August 2016, they introduced local schoolgirls to reusable sanitary products. These were a big hit, but unfortunately we couldn't meet the demand. This prompted a request for seed funding to set up a sewing workshop so products could be made by local women for local girls and women who cannot afford the commercial alternative. And we did!
 
By January 2017 project PURE JOY was up and running, with strong support from the community. All items were purchased locally. The workshop began with team managers Grace and Okello Collins, 2 sewing machines, 2 over-lockers and 20 hugely enthusiastic, dedicated volunteers, who enjoy being part of a group and love producing items that supports the ‘sisterhood’.

Spreading the joy...

The need for skill training is great and news of the workshop spread fast. The number of women wanting to learn sewing has now reached 60. Many of these women had dropped out of school, have little or no employable skills and are very keen to learn.
 
In June 2017, the workshop delivered their first orders and, during visits to schools, taught teen girls about reproductive health, product care and menstrual hygiene. Another 2 machines have been installed, and the group has begun developing new products with a view to selling in local and tourist markets.