Sanitary Pad Pattern

Patterns for washable and re-usable sanitary pads

These were designed so that I could use any materials that were available very cheaply in Uganda and, made by the girls themselves, 13 years ago my husband Mike and I started a school in Uganda and only realised 4 years ago when a friend of ours went to visit the school that the older girls were missing school for 4-5 days every month, we realised immediately what the problem was, but as menstruation is a taboo subject in the villages and many girls did not know what was happening to them we were not made aware of the problem. Our friend spoke to the girls and found that the only protection they had was old bits of rag and in some cases just grass, I knew something had to be done but realised that by making and just sending out a few pads myself was not the answer as this is a long term problem, so I went out to the school armed with patterns, materials and machines and taught the girls how to make the pads themselves and also how to make panties as one is no good without the other and this was yet another problem, they had no underwear, since doing this we now have full attendance at school and the project has been taken out to many other schools in the area, giving many girls back their dignity thanks to an NGO who has taken it on, but my girls have also managed to make a small business from this earning small monies for their families and I have since been back to the school and helped them set up a shop where they not only make and sell the pads and underwear but make and design clothes, making a big difference to them their families and the community.

I hope that by putting this on the website many more young girls can be helped. If you need any more information please let me know.

Thanks for thinking of this
Linda Willetts

Please click on this link for Pattern A

Please click on this link for Pattern B

Please click on the below links for each individual coloured pattern –

Coloured Pattern 1

Coloured Pattern 2

Coloured Pattern 3

Coloured Pattern 4

Coloured Pattern 5

For a different pattern please  contact Marion Tasker


 Washable sanitary pad project

The aim is to enable teenage girls in Africa to attend school full time.

This all began in 2013 when I visited Zambia as part of the National Police Aid Charity’s (NPAC) annual visit. There I met a lady who told me that the girls were missing up to one week of education each month because they had no sanitary protection. Cultural and other taboos reign supreme, this is a problem seriously affecting the development and equality of millions of girls through lack of education.

Having researched the best materials and purchased the same with donations from Inner Wheel and NPAC, I returned to Mfuwe the following year and set up the first Washable Pad Workshop with Project Luangwa. Kits were made containing 5 washable pads, 2 pairs of underwear, a bar of soap, a secret washing line, a plastic bag and washing instructions. These are given free of charge to school girls from age 10 and upwards.

The following years saw the setting up of workshops in several villages and schools in Zambia and Malawi and a few years ago we established NPAC Zambia based in Lusaka where we have a more professional workshop making pads (40,000 so far) for a much larger area. We have now submitted a tender to supply pads to UNICEF and supply the whole of Zambia.

Evaluations have been made with the aid of the school teachers. The results are very encouraging with an increase in attendance and attainment from most pupils, one rural school recording a 75 percent increase in attendance.

We continue to spread the word and last year, with the help of the Ist Lady of Zanzibar I began a workshop on the Island, this is proving most successful and has resulted in one of the students going to Tanzania to teach at a new workshop just being introduced there. The Gambia then followed and finally I am pleased to say that the Rotary Aqua Box are going to include in their Family Box a set of Washable Sanitary Pads, so our first workshop in the UK.

Although most of these projects are now self-funding, initially they were supported with fabric and machines donated by Inner Wheel and Rotary Clubs, my grateful thanks to everyone concerned, without your help this could not have been so successful.

Education is a powerful way to break the cycle of poverty, ill health, misery, and low status passed on from one generation of women to the next. When you educate a woman, you educate a whole nation.

Marion Tasker (Chairman NPAC)

District 22

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