What we do

FREE Menstrual Cups To End Period Poverty

UFULU gives free menstrual cups to women and girls, via educational workshops.  Our method is very simple – we train Malawian women, to run cup workshops in their local area.  We give them all the supplies and training that they need and maintain constant contact with them to check how they are doing.

Ufulu in Malawi

Where we work in Malawi

We currently have workshops in many locations and are hoping to add more.

Click on the map to see a larger image of where we can be found in Malawi.

Each of our workshop managers, or Cup Ladies as we like to call them, is already using a menstrual cup, which she has received from Ufulu, via one of our workshops.  We believe in empowering women and enabling them to help the women and girls in their surrounding area.

Each of our Cup Ladies will have been using her cup for at least 6 months.  She will have had the chance to get comfortable with using her cup and be confident in talking to other women about how to use and care for one.


Widge and Nandi educating women and girls in Malawi about periods.
A group of women on Likoma Island happy to have just received their ruby cups.

Workshops are designed around the women and girls that will attend them.  Each workshop lasts for around 2 hours and is for a maximum of 25 women or girls.  Workshops can take place anywhere – in a school, church, someone’s house or outside under the shade of a tree.  If the women attending can sit and be comfortable, then we can run a workshop.  We work with small groups to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and relaxed.  Most groups consist of friends from the same village, church or extended family, and there is plenty of time for discussion and to ask questions.

The Ufulu Cup Starter Pack

We know how important it is for every female who receives a cup to understand the need for strict hygiene when using it.  We want them to be able to start practising and using their cup straight away and that is why we provide them with the Ufulu Cup Starter Pack.

Nandi and Widge put the starter pack together, after many discussions, to establish what would work best for the women and girls in Malawi. Ultimately, we just wanted to ensure that each woman had everything she needed, right from the start, so that using a cup would be simple and easy.

Each Cup Starter pack consists of the following:

  • Ruby Cup
  • Travel pouch
  • Instruction sheet
  • Bar of Soap
  • Recycled food tin

Ruby Cup

Menstrual cups are just great.  Designed to be worn inside the vagina, they are discreet, comfortable, hygienic and best of all environmentally friendly.

Ruby Cups are made from medical grade silicone and come in 2 sizes – small for younger girls and those who have not given birth and medium for older women and those who have given birth.   Menstrual cups can be worn for up to 12 hours.  They are designed to take the same amount of blood flow as 3-4 sanitary pads.  And each menstrual cup lasts for up to 10 years.  That means every female will only ever need 4 menstrual cups in her lifetime, in comparison to 150,000 tampons or pads!!!


Travel Pouch


We also 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 and look after it. All this information is covered by the Cup Ladies in the workshop but by giving each female detailed instructions to take home, we ensure that they can double check if they have forgotten anything.  All cup recipients also get the mobile number of their Cup Lady, so they can call or text her if they need to.  Ufulu is all about empathy and caring – we want everyone who receives a cup to feel happy and confident about using it.

Antibacterial soap

The bar of soap is for the women and girls to wash their hands when they are using their cup.  It is not for cleaning the cups.  The great thing about menstrual cups is that they don’t require soap – they can just be boiled clean as this sterilises them and ensures that no soap residue goes into vaginas.

Recycled food tin

Finally, we give each woman or girl a recycled food tin, so they can clean their cups.  Cleaning a menstrual cup is easy – you just need to boil it for five minutes at the start and end of your period.  From talking to women like Nandi and asking questions right from the start, we knew that if females could not afford to buy sanitary products, then they would not have the money to buy a new cooking pot to clean their cup.  Young girls would not want to ask their mothers for a pot, so we came up with a simple and easy solution – a recycled food tin.  It uses an unwanted product that would otherwise go to landfill, helps look after the planet and acts as a useful storage container for the rest of the 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 tin given to the women and girls so that they can boil their cups clean each month. These are recycled and disinfected.

We collect tins from all over Malawi, through restaurants, hotels, recycling points and families who drop them off for us. The tins are cleaned, checked for rust and have their labels removed, and then are bagged up ready to drop off with our Cup Ladies.

Ufulu works with local schools in all the areas that we cover, providing Ruby Cups to any pupils that would like one. The workshops are always run with the consent of the Head Teacher and staff. A female teacher is always present to ensure continuity and assurance for the girls going forward and we make sure that we give cups to all the female members of staff at the school – they need cups too! The staff 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.

Many girls (and most of the older women) that we have spoken to admit that they regularly missed school when they have their periods. If a girl is using cloth rags as her only means of sanitary protection, she will live with the constant fear of her rags leaking, smelling and staining her uniform. The simplest way to avoid this is by just not going to school.

Malawi already has a huge problem with girls not attending school, for many different reasons. Ufulu believes that having your period should not be one of them.


Ufulu Cup Ladies maintain contact with all the women and girls that they give cups to.  Continued support is the cornerstone of what we do and believe in.  We want to know that all cup recipients are happy using their cups and we are there to be on hand to answer any questions and help them.  After 3-6 months of a female being given a cup, our Ufulu Cup Ladies will talk to them on a 1-2-1 basis, to chat about their cups and how they are finding using them.  We encourage open discussions of periods amongst women and girls – a taboo subject in Malawi, like so many other countries.

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