Menstruation with Dignity for 200 Ugandan Girls.
Description: According to 2015 UNICEF data, 3 in 10 school girls in Uganda, skips school or drops out entirely due to lack of menstrual products and poor access to proper sanitation. Lack of sanitary products in Uganda is a major barrier to education for school girls. The inability to manage menstruation contributes to absences of 4-5 school days monthly, equating to 20% of the academic year intentionally skipped. Many of these girls drop out of school entirely, increasing their risk to teenage pregnancies, child marriages and acquiring HIV at early age. Not knowing how to manage menstruation, or lacking the menstrual hygiene materials to do so, can cause girls to miss up to 4-5 school days each month, dramatically impacting their education. Philomera Hope Center Foundation Uganda (PHFU) will train 200 school-aged girls in the Kalangala District on menstrual hygiene, health management, and the production of reusable sanitary pads. They will also increase school-aged children’s access to clean water and sanitation facilities by installing 3 water harvesting tanks and 10 hand washing facilities.
Furthermore with this funding, this project will contribute to improved menstrual hygiene and health management among these girls, resulting in increased school attendance and better education outcomes for girls. Kalangala is an island district made up of 84 islands of which 64 are habitable. It can only be accessed by water prohibiting many service providers who have phobia for water to neglect and isolate the area living the citizens very vulnerable. The district has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence standing at 21% way beyond the national 6% figures. 28% of the girls between 15-18 years are child mothers and more 9% are expectant mothers. This is all caused by dropping out of school and not finishing school which is majorly attributed to menstrual matters. Adolescent girls stay away from school whenever the menstrual cycle starts leading to poor grades and thus dropping out caused by the high poverty levels and limited prioritization by the parents to buy the menstrual pads. In addition there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding menstruation including but not limited to that wherever a girl starts menstruating, then she is ready for marriage which has grossly contributed to child mothers and increased spread of HIV in the district. Many parents see their daughters as a source of wealth through dowry and yes, we want to break all the poor myths and misconceptions and keep her to finish school in order to fully maximize her full potential.
The donations that we will receive will be attributed to helping these girls in the following ways; 1) Training 200 School going girls on producing reusable sanitary pads. 2) Construction of 3 water harvesting facilities/tanks in our partner schools. 3) Providing hand washing facilities and sanitary towels in our different partner schools. 4) Formation of Her Voice Clubs in partner schools where problems affecting them can be discussed and solved with help of the empowered senior women teachers and our well trained peer educators.
This is a one year project and this is what we expect to achieve 1. Improved knowledge on sustainable Menstrual Hygiene Management among 200 school going adolescent girls through formation of sanitation health clubs and training on Reusable sanitary pads within selected primary and secondary schools. 2. Increased knowledge and awareness on sustainable hygiene and sanitation practices among 200 school going adolescent girls within primary and secondary schools. 3. Increased access to safe, clean water and sanitation facilities for 200 school going adolescent girls within primary and secondary schools.