Melanie has been catching up with some of the participants of the RUMPS training CRESS funded last year.
Five of the ladies who had attended the RUMPs training visited the clinic to talk with me about their experience of the training and how it had impacted their lives. Each of the five ladies was incredibly grateful for having been able to attend the training and gain the new knowledge and skills it had taught them. Below is a summary of what the ladies told me.
All five ladies told me how their financial situation had significantly improved since completing the training and starting to make their own reusable pads. They gave two reasons for this that were directly related to the training.
- The ladies and their older daughters now use the pads they make themselves, and so do not need to spend money each month on Always disposable sanitary pads.
- Some of the ladies sell the pads they make. One lady informed me that she sold each pad for 1000 Ugandan shillings, and in a month, she normally sold between about 20 – 30 pads, and sometimes more than that.
A third reason given for the increase in the ladies’ finances was that they had attended the Micro Finance training and now saved some of the profits they made from selling the pads. In doing so they were able to make plans for the future, which they hadn’t been able to do previously.
The ladies talked with me about some of the things they are using their extra money for.
- Something that seemed a particularly high priority was paying for education for their children. Previously, many could not afford to send some or any of their children to school. Now though, many of the ladies feel confident that they will be able to afford an education for more, if not all, of their children.
- Some of the ladies spoke about how prior to the training, they had not been able to afford to give their children breakfast before they went out to school. The extra money these ladies now have has enabled them to ensure their children can have breakfast before leaving home. This has positively influenced their children’s ability to concentrate when they are at school.
- As well as the amount of food the ladies are now able to afford increasing, the ladies also talked about how they were now able to feed themselves and their families a more varied diet. One lady told me about the different sauces she was now able to make and told me how sometimes she was even able to buy meat. Previously meat had been a luxury she hadn’t been able to afford.
One of the ladies told me how she hoped in the future to be able to have somewhere in the village centre to keep and sell pads from. Currently she is only able to sell them from her home, which is quite a way out of the centre where not many people pass by. Having a stall in the centre would increase business for her as well as benefiting the ladies who would be able buy and have access to the reusable pads she makes and sells.
Along with the financial benefits and their knock-on effects, some of the ladies also talked about the freedom that having the reusable pads gave them. I was informed that previously, they hadn’t always been able to afford to buy the Always disposable sanitary pads. When this was the case, they had to use clothes instead. This then restricted them in their daily tasks and movements. Now though, they are free to carry on living their normal lives throughout the whole of each month.
Each of the ladies feel that the RUMPs training has been significantly beneficial to them and hope that it will be able to continue to help other ladies too.