NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – One non-profit that was co-founded in our state is helping girls worldwide with their menstrual needs.

University of New Mexico medical students Emily Sarvis, Hyesun Choi, and
Rikki Hall are just a handful of volunteers with Sunny Smiles Initiative, a
non-profit creating awareness about menstrual hygiene to young girls in rural

“I just wanted to do something for woman’s health, especially in areas where we take a lot of things granted,” said Choi, a co-founder of Sunny Smiles Initiative.

As medical students, they realized they could make a difference across the
world. After finding out that many girls in Uganda use unsafe methods for their cycles, they now fundraise in the U.S. to provide sanitary products and outreach initiatives in Uganda.

“We bring everything so that when we bring it to the school, we are reaching out to everyone at that school, so everyone at that school can leave with a reusable pad and then most importantly the skill and knowledge to make reusable pads” added Choi.

They teamed up with volunteers in Uganda who are the boots on the ground
teaching young ladies better hygiene through PowerPoints and brochures.

“I believe education is one of the best things that anyone can receive.
Being able to write these brochures and really help people be educated on just
what’s going on with their own bodies, it’s just so amazing to be able to do
that,” said Sarvis.

They hope what is taught will be passed on to others across the region who
didn’t attend their hands-on teachings.

“It’s not just for like the females who are menstruating but also the
boys there and teaching them how to make pads and they could take that
information home to their younger siblings or their sisters that aren’t going,” said Hall.

Since its founding in 2020, the organization has helped educate 2,000
people through their outreach. According to the organization, the best way to donate
and help their cause is to head to their social media platforms and website.