Our Dignity program in Sierra Leone breaks new ground

black girls laughing and holding cups

Teams4U have recently organised a camp for 250 schoolgirls from across 7 primary and secondary schools. For many of these girls it was their first time away from home.

We combined fun activities with the important learning based on our Develop with Dignity program, I was thrilled to see the impact this camp had and its potential to change so many lives”

Helga Sellu, Teams4U’s partner in Sierra Leone
black girls having fun carrying chairs on their heads
group of black women listening to speaker

Teams4U has conducted research in schools in the Koindu area and the results are alarming. We spoke to almost 150 girls from 6 schools

  • 78% of them missed 3 days of school every month.
  • 96% had no access to sanitary pads

Some of the myths expressed during the survey may surprise:

  • 77% of the girls we spoke to believed they were not allowed to attend a Place of Worship during their periods
  • 58% believed their periods were a curse from God

“This camp has been the first opportunity for my students to hear these vital messages that will help keep them in school”

Bintu Kofeh, Teacher, Free Pentecostal School, Koindu

The following is feedback we received in Koindu, Kaliahun District, Sierra Leone in March 2019:

  • 145 girls were interviewed of menstrual age across 6 schools:
    • 106 didn’t know about their periods until after their first experience (73%)
    • 38 were informed before menarche
  • 140 had no access to pads and used pieces of cloth (96%)
  • 114 missed an average of 3 days of school (78%)
  • 339 days were missed altogether every month
  • 33 experienced being laughed at/embarrassed/shamed because of their periods (22%)
  • 84 identified with the belief that their period was a curse from God (58%)
  • 55 identified with the belief that they would be cursed if they talked to anyone about their periods (38%)
  • 112 identified with the belief that whilst on their periods they can’t attend a Place of Worship (77%)

Leave a Reply