Preventing Monthly Periods from Putting a Full Stop to Education

n Sub-Saharan Africa, one in 10 African schoolgirls skips school or drops out entirely due to a lack of adequate menstrual products and proper sanitation during their periods. Sophia Grinvalds, co-founder of AFRIpads, has seen many girls in Uganda devise makeshift solutions to cope with their periods because they can’t afford sanitary protection. Examples include wads of toilet paper, banana fibers and even cow dung. These improvisations often result in embarrassing scenarios, forcing many girls to skip school during their periods.

1 in 10 African schoolgirls skips school or drops out due to a lack of menstrual products. Tweet This Quote

Observing this situation, Sophia and her husband, Paul, believed that a common monthly challenge should not jeopardize a girl’s right to education. Founded 10 years ago in Uganda, AFRIpads creates simple and effective washable sanitary pads that can be used for over a year – and it’s four times more affordable than a year’s supply of disposable sanitary pads. Their goal is to provide hygienic, comfortable, and dignified protection for girls and women.

According to Sophia, in a country like Uganda where nearly three-quarters of families can’t afford to purchase sanitary protection for their daughters, AFRIpads exists to deliver dignity through their product. To date, they have reached over 1.5 million girls and women.

About the author

Brittany Lane

Brittany Lane

Brittany is the global editor of, which exists to drive resources and value to entrepreneurs around the world solving big f*$ckin' problems. She believes lasting change happens at the intersection of entrepreneurship and empathy and that good storytelling can move mountains.