Sep 27, 2017

MENSTRUAL HYGIENE MANAGEMENT AND SUPPLY OF SANITARY PADS IN SCHOOLS OF MUGUSU SUB COUNTY

In July, 2017, the Project Manager and the staff of JFCU-Fort Portal trained girls in MENSTRUAL MANAGEMENT and supplied REUSABLE SANITARY PADS in schools of Mugusu Sub County, Kabarole District. This sub county was selected because of many local reports that girls’ absenteeism in upper primary of Uganda’s rural schools was on the increase which the organization associated with poor menstrual hygiene.

In response to this concern, JFCU organized a training workshop on Menstrual Hygiene. The training was conducted in a workshop that was conducted at Magunga Primary School, a school on the slopes of Mt. Rwenzori. Teachers of this school requested that parents and their daughters first get trained in making reusable sanitary pads using available local materials like clothes. 

The training spun on the following objectives:

  •       to enable the participants gain skills of handling challenges that face teenage girls face during menstruation;
  •       to create menstrual hygiene awareness among parents and teenagers in Mugusu Sub county;
  •       to demystify cultural beliefs and taboos associated with menstruation and
  •       to equip participants with skills in making Reusable Menstrual Pads (RUMPs).

The participatory approach was applied by facilitators so as to give participants the opportunity to have hands-on experience in making RUMPS. Among the participants, was the Head teacher, Magunga Primary School, who not only commissioned the workshop but also sensitized other participants on the value of the skill they were about to acquire.

The facilitators enlightened the participants on reproductive health. It was agreed upon, with several examples that individual reproductive health needs differ at every stage of life. In this regard, men were encouraged to get actively involved in reproductive health matters of people in the homes especially their daughters.

The facilitators guided the participants to share knowledge on matters related to the menstrual cycle, infections related to the reproductive tract, health risks caused by some sanitary products and materials and the basics of menstrual hygiene. Participants were divided into groups of ten people as a way of fostering their participation. Group leaders later shared their findings in form of presentations.

During the workshop, menstrual hygiene challenges girls and women identified were: embarrassment in public, high cost of pads, fear and shame of buying pads, abuse from boys, fear to disclose the state of beginning menstrual periods, rushes caused by sanitary pads, school absenteeism, stomach pains, lack of knickers, lack of money to buy pads, excessive bleeding, bad smell from blood, neglect of parents, and poor academic performance due to low concentration during menstruation periods.

In the same way, participants identified the impact menstrual hygiene can have on girls’ and women’s education, work, family life and general wellbeing as: school dropout, missing lessons, early marriage, early pregnancy, psychological torture and low output.

To crown it all, the facilitators enlightened the participants on the menstrual hygiene challenges girls face by associating them with the “Cycle of Neglect”. The cycle was illustrated as follows:

Lack of involvement in decision-making; Lack of information and awareness; Lack of access to products and facilities; Lack of social support; and finally, Impact on education

In the effort to promote menstrual hygiene management in Mugusu Sub County, JFCU has registered the following achievements: most girls in primary schools can make reusable sanitary pads;

  • teenage girls’ absenteeism in primary schools of the sub county has been reduced;
  • schools in the sub county have been provided with tools like pairs of scissors, needles and thread to use in the making of reusable sanitary pads;
  • some schools like Magunga Primary School and Kiboha Primary School have integrated the making of reusable sanitary pads into Integrated Production Skills’ (IPS) lessons; and
  • senior women teachers in the primary schools of the sub county have been retooled with effective ways to promoting menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls.

Despite the above achievements, JFCU still faces a number of challenges like:

  • Limited funds to expand the project to all sub counties of Kabarole district;
  • Limited funds to conduct more training workshops for girls and women in Mugusu sub county on the making of reusable sanitary pads;
  • limited materials to supply in schools; and
  • some schools still lack washrooms where adolescent girls can tidy themselves up and change sanitary pads during menstrual periods.
Oct 2, 2016

REPORT ON BUDGET PROGRESS

AUGUST, 2016

JOY FOR CHILDREN UGANDA

REPORT FOR THE BUDGETING PROCESS OF THE ACTION PLAN TO END CHILD MARRIAGES IN BUTALEJA DISTRICT

HELD ON 29TH AUGUST 2016

AT BUTALEJA DISTRICT HEADQUATER

CHILD MARRIAGES IN BUTALEJA DISTRICT

Uganda is one African country with a high rate of child marriages/child brides. It holds the eleventh position in Africa with 46% of  girls of 18 years forced or lured in marriages. According to UNFPA, the prevalence of child marriages is highest in the Northern region at 59%, followed by Western region at 58%, Eastern Uganda at 52% with Kampala having the lowest rate at 21%.

Butaleja district is among the top 5 districts in Uganda with a high rate of child marriages/brides in the Eastern region at 46% Most of these girls drop out of school due reasons like poverty, poor performance among other and get married at an early age.

Early marriages and the resultant pregnancies are the biggest causes of deaths in 15-19year old girls accounting to 20% of maternal deaths in Uganda,those who survive pregnancies suffer lasting complications like fistula and disability, (UNICEF-2014).  Ending child marriages in Africa especially Uganda requires the efforts and commitments of every stake holders, including parliamentarians, district leaders, religious leaders, academia, private sector, etc.

It’s due to this brief background that in 2015, Joy for Children Uganda embarked on a process to support Butaleja district local government to bring together all different stakeholders in the district to develop an action plan to implement/address issues related to ending child marriages in the district. After conducting of different activities from community level to high level district engagements, an action plan to end child marriages was developed with clear activities and implementation strategies.

Joy for Children Uganda convened another meeting with technical planning team of the district to critically review the action plan and budget for the suggested activities for a time frame of 5 years.

Outcomes of the Meeting

The meeting was chaired by CAO who welcomed members to the meeting and highlighted about relevance of attending the meeting which was to review the available action plan and draft a budget for it in a period of 5 year targeting it to be approved by the district council so as to increase the opportunity for resource mobilization by the district. After the 5 years the action plan will be reviewed and progress will be tracked. He thanked the Joy for Children Uganda for funding the campaign to end child marriages in the district and the district.

He highlighted that as a department of community development and probation office there is still increasing numbers of young girls getting married so young girls who drop out of school end up suffering very many consequences.

He informed members that the district in a long time had no clear implementation funded plan to address child marriages and this has made it difficult to eradicate the problem.

He noted that JFCU has come up with a campaign to support the district to end child marriages and the process begun with development of the action plan.

This process has been consultative from community level, meeting with different groups and stakeholders who came up with the available draft of the action plan. He thanked JFCU for the wonderful work, and committed to work together with the partners to implement this action plan.

He emphasized that, there is need to encourage our community members to support the programs to end Child Marriages and Teenage pregnancies amongest heads of different departments in the district. He also urged participants to keep sensitizing the community especially parents.

He said that the issue of Early Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy is everyone’s responsibility which cannot therefore be left to only, Joy for Children, Girls Not Brides and other partners.

He requested participants to have the budgeting process done as quickly as possible to enable the sect oral committee to organize the order paper as soon as possible before the council convenes.

Budgeting for the Action Plan

The action plan was reviewed by the participants and the budget was attached against every implementation activity. Both a one year implementation plan and a 5year implementation plan were designed.

Secretarial Committee Meeting

As a requirement and procedure by the local government regarding approval of district plans, after the technical input in the budgeting of the action plan, the secretarial committee meeting was convened to digest and prepare the action plan to be approved by the council. The meeting happened on 6th September 2016 at the district headquarters.

The action plan was therefore digested and the committee nominated the Minister of gender to Hon. Beatrice Namunyole to present the action plan before the council when they convene.

See the budgeted action plan attachment.

Key Issues From the Budgeting Process

Rehabilitation center

Members of the secretarial committee pointed out a need to construct a rehabilitation center that would accommodate victims of child marriage to give counseling and rehabilitation services. This was proposed to be discussed with different stake holders in the first quarterly review meeting.

District ordinances and by laws

Members suggested a district ordinance to the council on child marriage and supporting all the sub counties to pass by laws on child marriages.

Change in the action plan

Technical planning team highlighted that the action plan can be amended whenever necessary based on the availability of resources and nature of implementation.

  1. The council was postponed to convene on 16th September 2016 when we expect the action plan to be approved.
  2. The secretarial committee requested for facilitation from the Ministry of gender and secretarial committee during the presentation of the action plan to the council for approval.

Attachments:
Sep 30, 2016

REVIEW OF ACTION PLAN TO END CHILD MARRIAGE

 JUNE, 2016

 JOY FOR CHILDREN UGANDA

REPORT FOR THE REVIEW OF THE ACTION PLAN TO END CHILD MARRIAGES IN BUTALEJA DISTRICT HELD ON 8TH JUNE 2016

 AT BUTALEJA DISTRICT HEADQUATERS

THE REVIEW OF THE ACTION PLAN TO END CHILD MARRIAGE

Problem Statement

Uganda is one of the  African countries with high rates of child marriages/child brides. It holds the eleventh position in Africa with 46% of girls below the age of 18 years forced or and  lured into marriages. According to UNFPA, the prevalence of child marriages is highest in the Northern region at 59%, followed by Western region at 58%, Eastern Uganda at 52% with Kampala having the lowest rate at 21%.

Butaleja district is one of the top 5 districts in Uganda with the highest rates of child marriages/brides in the Eastern region at 46%. Most of these girls drop out of school due reasons like poverty, poor performance in class, among others and get married at an early age. (UNFPA 2013)

Early marriages and the resultant pregnancies are the biggest causes of deaths in 15-19year old girls accounting to 20% of maternal deaths in Uganda. Those who survive pregnancies suffer lasting complications like fistula and disability (UNICEF-2014).  Ending child marriages in Africa especially Uganda requires the efforts and commitments of every stake holder, including parliamentarians, district leaders, religious leaders, academia, private sector, etc.

It’s due to this brief background that in 2015, Joy for Children Uganda in partnership with Butaleja district local government convened stake holders meeting in the district to develop an action plan to address issues of child marriages and teenage pregnancies in Butaleja district. As a follow up on the action plan and its implementation, another meeting was held on 8th June at Butaleja district headquarters to harmonize the entire process.

Objectives of the Meeting

  1. To present the draft action plan to the new leadership (District executive committee) to have their inputs and prioritize its implementation.
  2. To Review the action plan and adopt it for implementation.

The Meeting

The District Chairperson Mr. Waya Richard welcomed all the participants and thanked them for honoring the invitations to attend the meeting.

He highlighted on the purpose of the meeting and requested participants to actively input or subtract anything necessary in the action plan.

He requested Universal Health Development Foundation with always invite media during such important meetings such the rest of the world gets to know what is to going on and learn from others.

He informed the participants that he feels sad whenever Butaleja is named among the top District with high rates to child marriages, teenage pregnancies, maternal deaths, school drop outs all most all sectors.

He thanked JFCU for implementing activities that contribute to development and well-being of people in Butaleja District.

He urged participants to always welcome partners wherever they come to implement work in the District.

Action Plan

The draft action plan was presented, inputs and changes were made by participants and a final action plan was development. Some of the suggested action activities include;

  • Prosecution of perpetrators
  • Conducting radio Programmes
  • Conducting school outreaches in the district to openly talk about child Marriage and its consequences
  • Capacity Building for TOTs at S/C and school level
  • Conducting community dialogues on child marriage issue.
  • Conducting community dialogues on child marriage issue. this will be done on market days, prayers days and community Barazas
  • Making child marriage a discussion point on every district and sub county levels meetings and Monday Police parades and  
  • Follow up on child Marriage cases, Review Meetings about the progress of the project.

Keys Points to Note

  1. The District Chairperson Mr. Waya Richard advised the partners to always be flexible while implementing activities in the District.
  2. The District planner requested the partners to always follow proper systems when they need to get information from the District.
  3. The District Chairperson requested the partners to always disclose their work plans and budgets to avoid duplication of work.
  4. That for a partners to be recognized by the District they must be implementing suitable continuous projects and programs on grass roots.
  5. There should be review meetings for the implementation of this action plan on a quarterly basis to see the progress the project.  

Attachments:
 
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