I've previously written a little about new projects that the Bitengye Designers are considering for the coming year, and one of those is the making of re-usable sanitary napkins. Several times in the past, school girls have told us that having the appropriate supplies for the time of the month they have their periods is often a problem. Disposable pads are expensive, and often beyond the reach of school girls, so often they end up missing school. I have also been told about a couple of Canadian groups making re-usable pads for these girls, and while I'm sure this is done with the best of intentions, how much better if Ugandan women (or women from any African country), who have the necessary sewing skills and supplies, were to make them themselves, and to develop an income-gnerating business from from selling them? While I was in Uganda I was able to show Alice several possible patterns from making pads, and then she showed me a sample she'd come upon herself, and which is photographed here. She and the Bitengye group, who have been looking for in-country ways to make their sewing pay, didn't take long to decide that they would like to begin production as soon as possible. They'll be making up carrying bags (red and black in the photo) which will contain six pads and liners, and a plastic bag for used pads. They will take samples of these around to nearby schools for them to be tested, and all being well, will then begin to supply schools in their areas with these bags. Along with the making of school uniforms and school book bags, these are items which have the potential to boost their in-country sales. Alice and all the Bitengye women, we wish you every success with this new venture!