Challenging Barriers to Education
Our develop with dignity program takes a holistic approach in supporting young people to go to school and stay in education. Since the program started in 2015, we’ve been on a learning journey, and believe the most effective strategy invests in the following areas:
- Ending Period Poverty
- Improving access to Sanitation and Hand washing
- Investing in adolescent Sexual, Reproductive Health Education
- Enhancing Education quality
What has been achieved?
Since 2015, our partners have supported nearly 8,000 schoolgirls in Uganda and Sierra Leone with washable sanitary pads and basic menstrual health education. We have recorded a 45% decrease in menstrual-related school absence and a 27% decrease in diarrhoeal-related school absence.
Through successful grant-funding and the support of our donors, our Ugandan team have delivered training seminars in Sexual Health Education to 260 teachers and have collaborated with African adolescent health experts to create resources to support teachers to deliver lessons on a range of subjects within Sex Ed.
Of the 91 government-funded primary schools in Kumi, Uganda, donor support and grant-funding has provided 57 with 1000ltr handwashing facilities, and provided 20 with increased handwashing equipment in the fight against COVID.
In 2020, we supported our partners to build the first manufacturing unit and shop in Kumi to supply locally made washable sanitary pads and give employment to 4 tailors.
Develop with Dignity resources
We are excited to be able to make some of our materials available to anyone for download and use in supporting delivery of Menstrual Education in Sub-Saharan Africa, or as a helpful discussion aid on the barriers to talking about menstruation globally.
Due to COVID and schools being closed for nearly a year, the risk to girls has significantly increased with a rise in forced child marriage, abuse, teenage pregnancy and maternal death soaring throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.
We are in desperate need of funds to continue supporting our Develop with Dignity program, providing pads to girls in this crucial time so missed schooling, due to their periods, doesn’t ultimately impact critical exams that will determine their future.
We also need to keep investing in our Sexual Health program to safeguard the lives and potential of these young women; the men whose futures may be de-railed by uninformed choices; and the lives of the unborn who are at significantly greater risk of complications, or death, if conceived to teenage mothers.