In June 2015 we were excited to launch a new program; focused on the issues preventing young women aged 10-16 years from staying in education. Over 10,500 face significant obstacles concerning menstruation, puberty, lack of sanitary wear, teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.
Up to 60% were regularly missing 2-3 days of school a month and some would drop out altogether.
Our aim was to enable these girls to complete their education without unnecessary disruption by:
In January 2016 we found a Ugandan manufacturer of reusable sanitary pads and employed a local teacher to provide basic menstrual health management to support the girls long term.
In 2017 our volunteer, Sarah Sankey conducted a survey of over 600 young women who had benefited:
The Ugandan government released its first Sexual Education Framework in 2018 but the teachers didn’t have the training or materials to deliver it. We responded by regularly visiting our partner schools, training teachers to design lesson plans and resources, and establish connections with local health clinics to facilitate nurses coming into school to answer pupil’s questions and give advice.
In October 2018 we interviewed 131 young women and almost none of them had been educated in sexual health and menstruation. 50% didn’t know why they had periods and the majority were unaware of the dangers of unprotected sex, fearful of using contraception and uninformed about where to get it.
Through funding from UK Aid Direct, we have been able to stretch our nets further to run focus groups and training seminars for local teachers, nurses and community leaders and parents. In 2018 we ran the first stage of educating and discussing attitudes toward menstrual health, sexual health and the importance of tackling taboos to protect their children. The aim is to run this training in all 7 sub-counties by August 2020, empowering 10-19 year old pupils to make informed choices about their health and avoid risk.
In 2018, alongside this we continue to distribute sanitary wear with 1500 young women receiving these yearly.
Funding obtained through UK aid direct – UK government 2018 and 2020 now ongoing 2020-2022 and Hub Cymru Africa – Welsh Government 2017, 2018, 2019-2020
It only costs £5 to provide 1 girl with washable sanitary pads that will help her through school for at least 1 year! Donate
There is such a knowledge gap around menstrual and sexual health. Few schools have any printed or visual resources to help them engage their pupils with these issues.
Can you help design a poster and/or create learning resources that the teachers can use to help in their lessons? Please Contact us