What we do

Workshops

UFULU runs workshops which distribute cups and provide information on how to use them. We introduce the women and girls to cups, explaining what they are made of, how they work and how easy they are to use. We work with small groups, to ensure that the women feel comfortable and relaxed. Most groups consist of friends from the same village, church or extended family. Each workshop lasts between one and two hours and there is plenty of time for discussion and to ask questions.

Starter packs

We know how important it is for the women and girls to understand the need for strict hygiene when using their cups. We provide each of them with a starter pack to ensure that they have everything that they need. Each pack consists of a Ruby Cup (in an organic, cotton bag) a bar of antibacterial soap, a set of instructions in Chichewa, and a recycled food tin for boiling her cup clean.

Schools

UFULU works with local schools in various areas providing Ruby Cups to any pupils that would like one. The workshops are run with the consent of the Head Teacher and staff. We have training videos and manuals, provided by Ruby Cup to make the workshops as enjoyable as possible. A female teacher is always present to ensure continuity and assurance for the girls going forward. We also give cups to all female members of staff at the school – they need them too! They are then able to talk to the girls, share their experiences and guide them through using their cups if they are at all unsure, especially for those just starting their periods.

Support

UFULU maintains contact with all women and girls who receive a cup. We want to know that they are happy using them. If they have any problems, we are on hand to answer questions and help them. We go out and talk to each recipient on a 1-2-1 basis to chat about their cups and how they are finding using them. We try to encourage open discussion of periods amongst the women and girls – a taboo subject in Malawi, like so many other countries.

The Ufulu cup starter pack

Nandi and Widge put the starter pack together, after many discussions, to establish what would best work for the women and girls of Malawi. Ultimately, we just wanted to ensure that each woman had everything she needed so that using a cup would be simple and easy. For more information visit rubycup.com

We provide a detailed instruction sheet, in Chichewa, complete with diagrams. The instructions show how to fold and insert the cup, how to remove it, and how to clean & look after it. We go through all of this in the workshops, but giving them the instructions to take home means that they can double check if they have forgotten anything.

The soap is contained in a beeswax wrap

to make sure the bar stays clean and dry.

Included in the pack is a bar of soap, we explain that this is to wash their hands with, when inserting or removing their cups. If kept just for this purpose, the soap lasts nearly a year, and in that time they are able to save up enough to buy their next one, especially if they don’t have to buy soap powder to wash their rags.  

Because their beeswax wrap is so secure they can take their soap with them wherever they go. Many women work outside during the day – collecting water, tending crops or grinding maize. If the soap is easy to carry around, (they can tuck it into their bra straps)  it means that they can always ensure that their hands are clean if they need to empty their cup – plus the wraps are pretty and they smell great!

Finally, we give each woman or girl a recycled food tin, so they are able to clean their cups. Cleaning a menstrual cup is easy – you just have to boil it for five minutes at the start and end of your period. However, we knew that women would not want to use a cooking pot to do this. Young girls would not want to ask their mothers for a pot and also most would not be able to afford a new pot, just for boiling their cups in – if they can’t afford to buy sanitary products, how would they be able to afford a new pot? 

Our solution to this was simple – use a recycled food tin. It helps look after the planet and acts as a useful storage container for the rest of their starter pack!

The tin given to the women and girls so that they can boil their cups clean each month. These are recycled and disinfected.

The tins are collected from local businesses and hotels, cleaned and their labels removed.

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