Nov 2, 2020

ACYDI-GLOBAL-GIVING REPORT 3

The emergency assistance package 4 girls/mothers
The emergency assistance package 4 girls/mothers

REPORT ON “Training 100 men & 40 boys in Uganda on menstruation” project by African Child and Youth Development Initiative (ACYDI), Uganda – October, 2020.

Introduction;

Menstrual health management has been reported as one of the leading cause of frequent absenteeism and eventually dropout among school girls in Uganda. In order to reduce the rate of school absenteeism, dropout, early marriage and teenage pregnancies for girls of reproductive age in primary & secondary schools in Buvuma & Mukono districts in Uganda, ACYDI planned to train 100 men and 40 boys on menstruation and these will be the role-models and advocates to other men and boys. This will increase access to menstrual health support materials, scholastic materials and improving Knowledge, Attitude & Practice on menstrual health management (MHM) among males and females. Girls and boys of reproductive age will have increased access to the right information on sexual reproductive health & will be able to support each other thus staying and completing their education.

Global-Giving Flexible funding and response to Covid19 pandemic and lockdown;

When Uganda registered her first Covid19 positive case on 21st March, 2020, all places that gather bigger crowds and gatherings were closed and hence schools, markets were among. A total lockdown and curfew followed and movements were limited. Public and private transport were also stopped hence, inaccessibility to essential services like health facilities, groceries among others. Until to-date, the economy changed and our vulnerable teen mothers at the Islands haven't been working causing a stand still on their businesses and turning against their saved money for survival. Many of our adolescent girls and boys have been locked in the same households with their perpetrators hence increased cases of sexual and domestic violence, while others have tempted to engage into unwanted sex with men so as to access menstrual health materials like pads, soap and sometimes food etc since their parents couldn’t afford during this period yet they also requires frequent hand-washing and face masks in public which they can’t afford.

Actions taken:

ACYDI applied to the flexible funding and was granted the Usd 1,000 from Global-giving on top of other locally mobilized resources ($ 2,900) which have pushed us through this period to-date as follows;

  1. With each getting $25 for essential needs, 70 (including those in our GBV safe house) most vulnerable adolescent girls and teen mothers and their households have been supported each with 1 packet of reusable sanitary pads and food staff including 2kg of sugar, 3kg of rice or a bunch of matooke/plantain, 3kg of maize flour, and 2 bars of hand-washing soap to prevent them from contracting and spreading Covid19/corona virus while they move out make ends meet. This was given as emergency assistance through a door-to-door delivery as a way of following the MoH SOPs for the preventions of Covid19 spread.
  2. Our team of 5 volunteers has been facilitated to do psychosocial/mental health counseling both at the safe house were over 36 survivors/adolescent girls and some children (SGBV Survivors) were provided protection due to sexual and GBV and in the community where they would talk to parents about child protection, stress, depression as well as self-care during this pandemic. This mental health and counseling was intensified after we registered a suicide death case by a 15YRs old girl who was defiled by her mothers’ brother of 34yrs that remained at their home due to the lockdown, and 2 other attempted suicides by 2 primary school girls who were forced out of their homes as they refused to go for forced marriages. These survivors are part of the 70 beneficiaries of the $25 for emergency assistance. They were provided with safe house, water, lights and food during their stay while following up their reported cases to get their perpetrators.  
  3. Our volunteers were also supported to carry-out door-to-door sensitisation or meet with small teams through peer-to-peer groups on menstrual health management and support for girls as they continue staying home due to the lockdown. We have been able to reach 164 (130G:34B) adolescent girls and boys with this information hence improving knowledge and practices on menstrual health.

ACYDI adopted a door-to-door method to reach out to the beneficiaries in the identified households. Our volunteers and staff identified and registered the qualifying beneficiaries using our identification scales. These received their packages at their door steps to avoid crowding and ensure social distancing. An integration of other services like nutrition, hygiene, sanitation, psychosocial was done especially depending on individual and House-hold needs.

 Challenges;

-          COVID19 Lockdown; the continued lockdown has limited us from reaching out to the intended boys and men in schools and district officials respectively as these remain closed.

-          Increased cases of mental health/stress/depression as more girls and boys face GBV threats, forced sexual harassment among others.

-          Limited resources and finances to handle more girls and also carry out menstrual health support yet schools still remain closed for non-finalist/non-candidate classes.

 Way forward

ACYDI team of volunteers and staff will continue to engage small groups of girls and boys through peer-to-peer engagements at village level on MHM training and making of local pads as well as women and men in dialogues on how to support the girls during this period while following the SOPs.

We have identified village mentors who are willing to learn menstrual health and pads making and will transfer the knowledge and skills to the rest in the villages.  Due to limited resources, we were not able to train village mentors on menstrual health but planning to do this by end of November or early December.

 

We can’t thank you enough our donors for your generous support and we promise not to disappoint your giving hand.

From Prossy Nakattudde, Director of Programs

On behalf of African Child and Youth Development Initiative (ACYDI), Uganda.

One of the survivors after receiving her package
One of the survivors after receiving her package
Volunteer after mental health/emergency training
Volunteer after mental health/emergency training
Jul 6, 2020

ACYDI's Menstrual health campaign starts-Global-giving report 2

some of the girls already in menstruating stage
some of the girls already in menstruating stage

REPORT ON “Training 100 men & 40 boys in Uganda on menstruation” project by African Child and Youth Development Initiative (ACYDI), Uganda – June, 2020.

Introduction;

Menstrual management has been reported as the leading cause of absenteeism, dropout among school girls in Uganda. The Ugandan government through ministry of education & sports estimates approximately 23% of girls between the ages of 10 -18 drop out of school after beginning menstruation. It is an issue that is insufficiently acknowledged & has not received adequate attention in the reproductive health and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sectors in developing countries and its relationship with and impact on achieving many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) is rarely acknowledged. In order to reduce the rate of school absenteeism, dropout, early marriage and teenage pregnancies for girls of reproductive age in primary & secondary schools in Buvuma & Mukono districts in Uganda, ACYDI planned to train 100 men and 40 boys on menstruation and these will be the role-models and advocates to other men and boys. This will increase access to menstrual health support materials, scholastic materials and improving Knowledge, Attitude & Practice on menstrual health management (MHM) among males and females. Girls and boys of reproductive age will have increased access to the right information on sexual reproductive health & will be able to support each other thus staying and competing their education.

 

Progress and Women’s day celebrations;

Changing a behavior, a culture or a traditional norm of a community requires a lot of efforts and takes a longer time, thus, planning to delay in some of the planned activities. However, ACYDI team has been able so far to meet with the district local government in both Buvuma and Mukono to seek permission to engage the intended leaders/policy makers and boys who will join women and girls in communities and schools. A TOR (Terms of reference) was developed, submitted for review and now approved by the district education and health offices as assigned by the Chief Administrative Officers. The 2 schools where boys will be trained together with girls were already identified as well as the categories of leaders by the time of the Covid19 lockdown. Some training materials including stationary and local pads making materials were procured and as some have been used during this lockdown training.

 

  • Using the advantage of the International Women’s day/week also using the #EachforEqual theme, on Wednesday, March 11th 2020 I with the ACYDI team organized initial dialogues with one community and we selected school committee there to form our school health club and discussed about how the different stakeholders right from the village level may participate in ensuring that this project is successfully implemented without conflicting with the traditional cultures.
  1. We successfully selected the school health club that will first be trained as child-to-child mentors on menstruation at Bukaali Primary School comprising of 15 girls and 15 boys with their leadership selected. The school health club with the school senior woman, man and head teachers were briefed about the project and they were so excited, willing and committed to stand up to empower all girls in their community around Bukaali.
  2. After engaging the school during the morning hours, we proceeded with my team in the afternoon to meet and dialogue with the local community and discussed issues around girls and women empowerment including the menstruation for education training. Here, we continued to discover different myths and traditional beliefs about menstruation and growth that hinder girls and women from succeeding both professionally and personally. Men, youths and women in this dialogue were amazed of how misled they were and committed to participate in this project and now waiting for more community dialogues.

Challenges;

-          As menstruation is taken to be traditionally a taboo and a shame to be spoken about among men and boys, so it’s been so hard for us to introduce it and to convince the district leadership which comprises of majority (almost 75%) men that this is something of a concern and needs to be a topic of discussion and training. Many are still hesitant but after various meetings and discussions with the help of the district women’s council, our leaders have picked up interest and many traditional leaders have expressed interest in attending the training which may even shoot the numbers higher than the targeted.

-          COVID19 Lockdown; Due to the total Covid19-pandemic’s lockdown that led to closure of public places and gathering schools inclusive, we have not held many of our planned activities with men and boys due to the restrictions. The trainings and dialogues target schools, district and village committees and structures and call for gatherings during dialogues. Being remotely situated in Islands with very poor network, our efforts to put sessions online also failed.

-          We have tried our best to reach out to the girls and teen mothers with emergency menstrual health facilities including pads, buckets and soap with education/sensitisation on both menstrual health and general hygiene and sanitation, frequent hand-washing to prevent the spread of CORONA VIRUS/COVID19 through door-to-door approach as we wait the situation to normalize. Buvuma Islands has registered more COVID-19 positive cases and a big threat to the communities hence more efforts needed to handle both COVID-19 and Menstrual health, sexual reproductive issues as many girls are now home with men and bigger boys who are their perpetrators.

 

Way forward

As the lock down is being lifted slowly, ACYDI team has planned to engage small groups of girls and boys at village level on MHM training and making of local pads as well as women and men in dialogues on how to support the girls during this period while following the SOPs vy the MoHealth. We have identified village mentors who are willing to learn menstrual health and pads making and will transfer the knowledge and skills to the rest in the villages as we wait schools and public gatherings to open.

For this, materials have been procured and by Mid-July we shall be starting.

If resources can allow, we are also continuing with MHM material distribution to the vulnerable girls and teen mothers as emergency measures as they wait to learn how to make pads locally.

Door-to-door sensitisation on hygiene and sanitation/hand-washing for COVID19 prevention will continue too.

 

We can’t thank you enough our donors for your generous support and we promise not to disappoint your giving hand.

From Prossy Nakattudde, Director of Programs

On behalf of African Child and Youth Development Initiative (ACYDI), Uganda.

Boys ready to become change agents
Boys ready to become change agents
Elected leaders for school health club
Elected leaders for school health club
Parents/leaders who attended the dialogue meeting
Parents/leaders who attended the dialogue meeting
Mar 2, 2020

Menstruation Training Report 1 by ACYDI, Uganda

REPORT ON “Training 100 men & 40 boys in Uganda on menstruation” project by African Child and Youth Development Initiative (ACYDI), Uganda – March, 2020.

Introduction;

Menstrual management has been reported as the leading cause of absenteeism, dropout among school girls in Uganda. The Ugandan government through ministry of education & sports estimates approximately 23% of girls between the ages of 10 -18 drop out of school after beginning menstruation. It is an issue that is insufficiently acknowledged & has not received adequate attention in the reproductive health and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sectors in developing countries and its relationship with and impact on achieving many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) is rarely acknowledged. In order to reduce the rate of school absenteeism, dropout, early marriage and teenage pregnancies for girls of reproductive age in primary & secondary schools in Buvuma & Mukono districts in Uganda, ACYDI planned to train 100 men and 40 boys on menstruation and these will be the role-models and advocates to other men and boys. This will increase access to menstrual health support materials, scholastic materials and improving Knowledge, Attitude & Practice on menstrual health management (MHM) among males and females. Girls and boys of reproductive age will have increased access to the right information on sexual reproductive health & will be able to support each other thus staying and competing their education.

 

Progress;

Changing a behavior, a culture or a traditional norm of a community requires a lot off efforts and takes a longer time. Thus, planning to delay in some of the planned activities. However, ACYDI team has been able so far to meet with the district local government in both Buvuma and Mukono to seek permission to engage the intended leaders/policy makers and boys who will join women and girls in communities and schools. A TOR (Terms of reference) was developed and submitted for review by the district education and health offices as assigned by the Chief Administrative Officers. The 2 schools where boys will be trained together with girls were already identified as well as the categories of leaders. Training materials including stationary and local pads making materials were procured and all these waiting approval of the TOR, then invitations will officially be sent out to the trainees. The training for men is slated for April immediately after Easter weekend while for boys it will be in early May not to interrupt the school curriculum activities as agreed with the education office.

 

Challenges;

As menstruation is taken to be traditionally a taboo and a shame to be spoken about among men and boys, so it’s been so hard for us to introduce it and to convince the district leadership which comprises of majority (almost 75%) men that this is something of a concern and needs to be a topic of discussion and training. Many are still hesitant but after various meetings and discussions with the help of the district women’s council, our leaders have picked up interest and many traditional leaders have expressed interest in attending the training which may even shoot the numbers from higher than the targeted men. Also due to the school curriculum, there will be a delay in engaging school boys as we have to wait when most of their slated school business is reduced, most probably towards end of term exams when they will have free space for any other activities.

 

We thank you our donors for your generous support and we promise not to disappoint your giving hand.

From Prossy Nakattudde, Director of Programs

On behalf of African Child and Youth Development Initiative (ACYDI), Uganda.

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