Dec 1, 2020

Periods in the era of the pandemic.

Menstruation is a subject that is often 'swept under the rug', it is just recently that it is starting to gain attention given the data on the impact it is having on the education of girls. According to UNESCO, 1 in 10 girls misses school during their period, because they do not have access to sanitary pads, and are ashamed to go to school and be ridiculed, often by their male peers.

One of our goals at Joy for children - Uganda is to ensure girls stay and excel in school, so that they can realize their dreams and provide a better future for themselves, and their families. Proper menstrual hygiene management not only allows them to live comfortably, but also makes them more confident and increases their chances of staying in school.

In Uganda and mostly in the rural areas, parents are not able to afford sanitary pads for the girls, Local shops stock sanitary pads that cost on average 5,000 Ugandan shillings ($1.50) a packet – too expensive for most of the predominantly peasant families .

Rural girls have been much affected by the pandemic because they are at home and are not accessing sanitary pads; this is because Periods don’t stop during a pandemic. The impacts of COVID-19 are being seen all over the world. Meeting the critical menstrual hygiene management needs of women and girls is central to an inclusive global response that promotes equality there by realizing SDG 10 of reducing inequalities.

$1.50 can get a girl a packet of reusable sanitary pads for 6 months,$ 15 can support 10 girls with 10 packets of sanitary pads for 6 months, support our cause so that these can attend school with dignity and achieve their goals in life.

Nov 23, 2020

Shelter and supplies for flood victims

In May this year, Kasese was hit by disastrous floods. The floods started on May 7 and peaked on the morning of May 10. Another disaster followed on May 21, in areas of Mpondwe-Bwera, where flash floods and landslides further destroyed bridges and infrastructure, leading to the death of more than 10 people. There were insufficient toilets, shelters, and drinking water, as well as a lack of proper sanitation therefore, people were sick. Many suffered from water-borne skin or bacterial infections. Furthermore, people developed anxiety and stress due to their flooded environment.

As a result of the floods, many households were displaced and sought shelter from nearby schools and therefore they continue to express worry over the next course of education after several schools were washed away and yet schools have to be opened for learners in January 2021.

Flooding created a big impact on the lifestyles of the people. It affected their daily activities or work. Some of the flood victims suffered financial problems; therefore, they need extra time to pay off loans and restore flood damaged property such as farmland, houses and crops.

We are still running the campaign for restoring the lives of flood victims in Kasese district with $99,670 to go and the money donated shall be used to procure 300 standard household non-food-items to reach out to 300 most vulnerable families comprising of children, youths, women and the elderly. Each of the household will get 3 sauce pans 1 community borehole, 2 jerry cans, 3 blankets, 2 mosquito nets, and 1 tent for shelter.

Nov 16, 2020

Hope for the pregnant teenage girls.

In many parts of Uganda, many girls and young women struggle to remain in education or to enjoy the best opportunities for their lives because of teenage pregnancy.  One in four girls is either pregnant or has had a child by the age of 19. According to the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey -UDHS (2016), age at first sexual intercourse is 16 years and by age 18, more than 30 percent of adolescents are married. In most circumstances when a girl becomes pregnant, her education may end and her job prospects diminish, making her vulnerable to poverty, exclusion, and gender based violence and poor health. Underage girls are also vulnerable to complications of childbirth including conditions like obstetric fistula.

According to a Police report, 4,442 cases of defilement were reported between January and April 2020. Sauti reported 800 cases of sexual abuse between January and May 2020, including increased cases of teenage pregnancy. 

But there is hope for the pregnant girls who are still in school because the Ministry of Education and Sports instructed all primary and secondary head teachers to allow pregnant girls complete their final examinations. Girls in primary and secondary school need sexual reproductive health information and education so they can make informed decisions and refrain from engaging in early sexual relationships. 

Alongside the formal lessons, schools should prepare the girls for their new role as mothers. School matrons and health visitors run sessions on sex education, what to expect during labor, pain relief, breastfeeding, weaning, and preventing further pregnancies.

Schools must provide support to help young parents and pregnant teenagers complete their studies. Schools may have to adapt the way they teach, any uniform or dress codes and even the hours needed to attend to make sure teenage mothers are able to continue their education.

The campaign to keep girls in School is still running and we at Joy for Children- Uganda appreciate all the generous donations and contribution towards this noble cause, it is the duty of us all to protect the girl child.

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