Mar 26, 2021

Call to action to ensure girls'rights to education

After one year of closure, schools have reopened in Mozambique on March 22. It is still too early to say if the risks highlighted in our previous report have materialized, and it will take a few weeks before quantitative data on children’s school enrolment – to be compared with previous years’ – are available. It is still too early also for qualitative evidence on the impact of the emergency measures taken to contain the pandemic on school attendance, learning outcomes, children’s capacity to focus during classes, their nutritional status.

It is not too early, though, to say that girls’ rights to education, in Mozambique, are in danger, as a result of a mix of factors such as the pandemic’ consequences, multidimensional poverty, discriminatory social and traditional norms that promote early marriages – including as a coping strategy for families whose livelihoods are vulnerable.

Helpcode is promoting girls’ rights to education in many ways: by providing them with schools materials, by organizing community dialogues to increase awareness on the importance of education and on girls’ and children’s rights, by supporting the preparation of school meals – a great incentive for families to send children to school -, by enhancing families’ agricultural production capacity so that their income and livelihoods are more stable and therefore do not need to marry their daughters, by building or rehabilitating schools and latrines in areas that have been affected by natural disasters.

Menstrual health is a frequently overlooked factor: but in fact, it is as important as having school materials. We know, in fact, that puberty is a critical time for girls in Mozambique, as in many other parts of the world, as once they reach puberty, particularly in rural areas, they are often retired from school, and left waiting to be married. Providing girls with sanitary pads and with culturally-sensitive training on how to manage their period and their reproductive health can be a game-changer for thousands of girls living in rural Mozambique.

So this is a call to action: we need your support to change the rules of the game so that girls can go to school and make informed, conscious decision over their lives. Obrigada :)

Feb 9, 2021

Menstrual Hygiene kit for 500 girls in Chitwan

In December 2020, schools reopen in Nepal, after a long closure due to the pandemic. Conduct training and gathering of many people were restricted. Schools are conducting class in a regular basis just from January 2021. This allow Helpcode staff to conduct orientation on Menstrual Hygiene Management to all the targeted girls who receive the hygiene kits in all the Secondary and Lower Secondary schools in Chitwan.

Sheila make aware of targeted girls and other participants about the misconception, general practice, hygienic behaviour on monthly cycle and the negative impact of unhygienic practice on women health.

Hygiene kit were distributing to 500 adolescent girls of different schools: each kit was composed by 2 set of reusable sanitary pad; 1 packet of reusable pad, 1 piece of underwear, nail cutter, 2 pieces of soap, 2 face masks, 1 comb, 1 set of toothpaste and brush.

The target schools in the municipality of Ichchhakamana in Chitwan were the following:

  • Sarbashanti secondary School: 150 girls
  • Triveni Barah Secondary school: 110 girls
  • Shree Secondary School Dhungre: 37 girls
  • Shree Majhgaun Secondary School: 45 girls
  • Shree National Basic School Fishling: 22 girls
  • Shree National Basic School Pamdada: 15 girls
  • Shree National Basic School Chanaute: 11 girls

Also Shree Pashupatinath Secondary School in Makwanpur reached 110 girls, so to a total of 500 adolescent girls that receive the kits and orientation at schools.

Sheila asked the girls how they manage menstrual hygiene during the previous month with school closure. During the period of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, majority of the girls have used the traditional type of pads made by old cloth pieces. Some of the girls from nearing highway have used the non-reusable pads.

The impact of sanitary pad in the rural community school is very positive and milestone for those girls who usually being absent in school during the menstrual period. Similarly, Helpcode interventions break the misconception and misunderstanding about menstrual process. Girls and teachers feel free to talk about menstrual hygiene.

Helpcode staff did the awareness program before distributing the educational materials to the all students. Moreover, Sheila and the teachers are frequently monitoring the impact of re-useable sanitary pads too. Everyone feel easy and safe to wear.

It is important to see that after this awareness activities, many girls feel comfortable to speak about their menstrual cycle, their practice of hygiene management in public. Even boys do not feel boring and hesitation to hear in the awareness program in the mass.

We are very grate to all the people that contribute to spread this project to favour girls’ education and women empowerment in the management of their health. Moreover, local authority and Nepal government has started to supply sanitary pads in community schools from this year. This is an important achievement to increase sustainability and the participation and retention of girls at schools.

With happy period, we are happy to improve girls’ health and wellbeing!

Jan 25, 2021

Chhin happy to ride back to school

Poverty is the most disruptive factor for girls’ education in Cambodia. Women in poorer provinces often face increased difficulty pursuing education. Besides needing to leave school to work for money, the distance from school is also a big challenge and prevents many girls from getting to school and having the chance of a better life. Many Cambodian girls face this problem; according to the World Bank, 79% of the Cambodian population lived in rural areas in 2018.

Helpcode Cambodia plan to buy 100 Bicycles to support girls from the poorest communities in the South of Cambodia get to school and begin peddling their way out of poverty to an education and a better life!

The project to date has raised 1000 EUR. The project has been significantly impacted by the COVID 19 Pandemic with schools closed since March 2020 and government restrictions on public gatherings and regional travel. To enable progress of the project with the funds raised to date the Helpcode Project Team has been working closely with School Directors to identify recipient female students of a Bicycle based on the national Poverty ID scale. To date 84 girls most in need have been identified from 40 villages in the provinces of Sihanoukville, Kampot, Kandal and the informal settlements on the outskirts of Phnom Penh to receive a Bicycle once the project goal of 9,000 Euros is reached. The Project Team will continue to work with the School Directors to identify the remaining 16 girls to achieve the projects target of 100 female student recipients.

The Ministry of Education will reopen all public schools in Cambodia on January 15th 2021.

To ensure the safe implementation of the Pink Bicycle Project moving forward Helpcode Cambodia has developed and implemented a COVID 19 School Re Engagement Protocol. The purpose of this document is to provide clear and actionable guidance for safe operations by and for Helpcode staff in the prevention, early detection and control of COVID19 when operating in schools and other educational facilities.

The “Pink Bicycle” Project initiative aims to support the most vulnerable children in Cambodia with access to an education and to create supportive environments for children’s health and wellbeing within the communities and schools in which we work.

Chhin is 13 years old, studying in grade 6 at Oh Trochak Chet Primary School.

Her family received cash support of $100 from Helpcode 2 years ago as part of the Helpcode School Sponsorship Program. Chhin's family live 5 klms from the nearest school. With this money Chhin’s parents decided to purchase a bike to enable Chhin to get to school at a cost of 90$ and a school uniform at a cost of $10.

Chhin says: “I was very happy to get a Bike. Before I had a Bike I couldn’t go to school every day, the walk is long way and takes long time. I have also time to help my family at home. I share this bike with my younger sister so she can go to school too. The bike still works very well. We came to school every day because we have a bike”

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