RUMPS - Reusable Menstrual Pads

It is difficult for South Sudanese refugee girls to receive an education in rural Northern Uganda and they have a very high dropout rate. One of the many factors, but an important one, is an inability to manage their periods while attending school. This often means missing 4 or 5 days a month from school translating into 11% of school days missed due to menstruation.

In a typical group of 60 girls only around 9 are wearing underpants. Here in the UK, disposable pads and underpants are the norm, freely available and relatively affordable.

Unless they are unusually bright and determined, they fall behind and are seen as dim by their teachers and parents. When it comes to which children should get their school fees paid, the parents usually choose a son before a daughter for cultural reasons. If the daughter’s school report is poor, then the decision is even easier to make.

In rural Northern Uganda, most people are on a very low income and exist mainly outside the cash economy. A girl can not just ask her father for money for pads, and children simply do not have money of their own. The girls manage their periods by staying home for four or five days.

CRESS RUMPS training programme

CRESS have created a RUMPS training programme which includes 3 days of training on the menstrual cycle, hygiene and family planning, 1 notebook to keep details of their learning, 2 reusable menstrual pads and 2 pairs of underwear.

The reusable menstrual pads are made as part of the programme and can be made from material the family already owns. Some of the original RUMPS trainees have created small businesses for themselves making the pads and selling them to others who have the income to afford them.

RUMPS Stories


£10 trains 1 Girl

To train one girl costs just £10, but can make the world of difference to her life chances. Completing education and hopefully getting a job to give her a chance to escape the cycle of poverty.