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Irise International is a small UK charity that works to support the education and empowerment of women and girls in East Africa. It was founded in 2011 in response to Kenyan school girls’ accounts of their experiences of menstruation and its impact on their school attendance. Since then Irise has been working to develop a replicable and sustainable solution to this issue. Irise has a rapidly expanding team in Uganda with a UK based board of trustees and advisors and strong links to the School of Health and Related Research at the University of Sheffield.

TWF awarded Irise a grant of £10,000 in 2013 as a contribution to a project to establish a locally-run social enterprise making affordable reusable sanitary pads in Jinja, Uganda. The project was co-delivered by Irise and their in-country partner, RCMI, and grant monies were used to purchase sewing machines, deliver business training, and establish Irise Uganda Limited as a registered Ugandan company. By the end of its first year of operation the enterprise was producing pads at a cost of £0.31/pad and had provided more than 30,000 pads to 6,000 girls. In 2015 TWF awarded a grant of £30,000 split over two years to assist Irise Uganda Limited to increase their capacity for producing and selling reusable sanitary products, including a pilot instalment payment scheme and a sales strategy to enable local women to become entrepreneurs and sell the products on commission in their own communities. Over the next two years, Irise expect to produce nearly 400,000 pads and reach 70,000 girls.

Concern Universal

Irise Uganda Ltd displays their product range during an event in Kampala

Concern Universal

Susan, a co-founder and board member of Irise Uganda Ltd poses with the product

Easy pads are manufactured in the local community and create work for women who would otherwise struggle to find employment






Last updated Monday 19 March, 2018