Sanitary Pads Keep Ugandan Girls in School

Sep 28, 2009

Next Steps...

Dancing Girl at Kasiisi Primary School
Dancing Girl at Kasiisi Primary School

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.

Best Wishes!



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Project Leader

Caroline Riss

Cambridge, MA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Sanitary Pads Keep Ugandan Girls in School