We were featured on the Vanderbilt University Website. In this movie you can watch Dr. Musaazi himself speak.
Click on the video on the front page of vanderbilt.edu called, "Watch: VUCast: A life-changing journey, food that fills the soul and a holiday party that keeps on giving"
I will attach the video as soon as possible.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Kasiisi Project Girls Support Program is incredibly thankful for your continued support of girls in the Kabarole District of Uganda. Such enthusiastic support is allowing progress to be made at a wonderful rate.
We've just received results from a survey regarding MakaPads and are looking to expand the reach of the peer education programs. Lucy, the community health worker is continuing to visit the five primary schools regularly providing counsel and accurate information to the girls and boys alike.
In the States:
On November 13, 2009, Dr. Moses Musaazi visited the Vanderbilt University campus! He spoke in a variety of venues to graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, and a variety of other visitors. Those present were inspired by his drive to find appropriate-technology based solutions to problems faced by Ugandans (and others) on a daily basis. Water and air quality, deforestation, rubbish disposal, and employment are issues that Dr. Musaazi considers as he addresses problems that need solutions.
MakaPads, Dr. Musaazi’s innovation, were the highlight of his presentation. MakaPads are the first and only sanitary pad invented and produced in ALL OF AFRICA. What follows are bits and pieces about MakaPads that I thought you might like to know:
“Maka” has a deeper meaning. In Lugandan, the local language spoken by Dr. Musaazi, “maka” means “home”. His intent was that these pads reflected this. Each letter also stands for something important:
“Mak” for Makarere University where Dr. Musaazi works.
Over 95% biodegradable!
Again, thanks so much for your support. And please make comments or give feedback as much as possible, we appreciate all advice, comments and hellos!
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." - Winston Churchill
Thank you so much for all of your continued support. It has been exciting to have Kasiisi Girls Support Project recognized by Oprah on her new registry: for all women.
Next month continues to be exciting as Dr. Moses Kissa Musaazi (MakaPad inventor) is coming to the United States for a conference on technology in DC. While in the US he will visit Vanderbilt University.
Here's a snapshot of a profile of a Ugandan Girl affected by the Girls Support Project:
In brief, a typical P7 (the equivalent of 6th grade) student at Kasiisi Primary School lives with her father and mother; sings in the school choir; plays netball; and likes to dance. However, when a girl gets her period, just getting to school (let alone enjoying her normal school activities) is a challenge. It is extremely tempting to skip school during this time. Girls worry about odor and leaks, and boys at school tease may her and pressure her to have sexual relations with them. Most girls have a friend who drop sout of school because she is pregnant (about 2-3 girls do every year). Girls are uncertain whether to believe boys when they say she can’t get pregnant during her periods or that if she doesn’t have sex soon she will never to able to have children. Most girls own only one pair of underpants but are embarrassed to ask their parents to buy her more. These girls are bright and enthusiastic whose path to a healthy productive future is being hampered by two very simple, easily remedied, inexpensive things: sanitary supplies and accurate information to help her avoid unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Thank you for your continued support.
Sarah and I just got back from a six week trip to Uganda.
“We spent the first four weeks in Kampala, Uganda. During this time we worked with the director of Technology 4 Tomorrow, Dr. Moses Musaazi, a professor and inventor at Makerere University. It is Dr. Musaazi who created and engineered MakaPads. With his small staff, we learned more about the product, production, and future possibilities of this important product for young women and old. To support Dr. Musaazi’s research, we spent the majority of our time in Kampala interviewing women employed through the production of MakaPads, visiting local NGOs, band, embassies, UN organizations discussing possibilities for CSR investments.
The following two weeks we were in the Kabarole District working with Kasiisi Project Girls' Support Program. We (Sarah, Lucy-the local nurse, and I) worked the five primary schools, working with the head masters, head women (responsible for guiding and counseling the girls), P5, P6 and P7 girls, as well as the peer educators at Kasiisi Primary School.
Many promising and exciting connections and solid groundwork was accomplished including a potential partnership with UNICEF, increased number of workshops through Jane Goodall Institute to train peer educators, a plan for the CHW to work in the schools 2x a week with first aid and girls support programs, and even seedlings toward a MakaPad operations plant in Ft. Portal which will employ single mothers of school aged children.
Attached are a few photos and links to see more of what we've done!
Best Wishes. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail if you would like more information or if you have any suggestions.
Lots of new updates...
Check out the attached report from this summer's work
Here's a sample of some of the questions girls asked me during small group meetings. The girls in P5 – P 7 (4th grade – 6th grade) asked a ton of really valuable questions. Some were alarmingly false (the first one for example…) and others were remarkably intelligent and based in a good understanding of STDs, hygiene, sexual behaviors, and relationships.
Q: Is it true that if I don’t play sex by the time I’m 17 years old I will develop a bone in my private part and never be able to have children?
Q: Why do girls get their menstrual period and boys do not?
Q: What are the signs of Chlamydia?
Q: If someone with HIV coughs on me, can I get it?
Q: Can I share clothing with someone with HIV, or will I get HIV?
Q: How can I make my breasts develop? Does playing sex make them come faster?
Q: How can I best protect myself against STDs?
Q: If someone has HIV, what is a good way for them to eat to stay healthy?
Q: How can I help a girl who has a habit of playing sex with boys?
Q: I only have one pair of knickers and I have to walk to school when I have my menstrual period. I do not have pads at home and by the time I get to school my knickers are spoiled and then I have nothing to wear with my pad. What should I do?
Q: I live with my uncle and I am ashamed to ask him to buy me a pair of knickers. What should I do?
Q: Are there condoms for primary students even though we are told we have to abstain?
Q: My school gives me pads, but what do I do when I go to secondary school. I cannot afford to buy one for myself.
Q: Is it normal to get my period for more than 3 days?
Q: If I count the number of reeds on my wall can I decide how many days I will get my period?
Q: Is it ok to sit in the sun when I have my menstrual period?
Check out the attached "New Project Document" and pay particular attention to our updated budget.
Here's a brief annotation of the first year budget:
Program Supervisor will ensure accountability on the ground and will provide communication and transparency.
Motorbike will provide transportation for the supervisor to travel between schools.
Imported sanitary pads and underwear are important as the girls reported having insufficient pads and having one (if any) pair of underwear. The imported pads will begin to be phased out as the MakaPad plant takes form (most realistically 5 years out)
Peer Education and teaching aids will continually increase the human capitol within these schools and develop further the knowledge based education.
The trained peer educators reported a urgent need to show videos on sexual health to their peers. They reported that their peers occasionally doubt the validity of the information, so the leaders believe that showing films they saw during training workshops will give increase accountability. (Thus the projector, generator, screen, batteries and Rutooro language films).
Girl-Friendly latrines are important because they provide a private place for girls as to avoid the embarrassment the girls report in co-ed latrines.
Again, thank you thank you thank you for your continued support.
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