May 19, 2021

10 new bikes to ride to education

Our project will make a difference in the lives of children and their families in a simple way that has proven to be highly effective – providing them with bikes.

In Cambodia a bike is literally a ride to education:

  • Many students – in particular girls - have to travel a long distance to school, which is a big deterrent to attendance. A bicycle allows them to get to school and they can take one and sometimes two of their siblings with them.
  • The students’ families can also use the bikes to get to clinics and to local markets.
  • This initiative supports local families that sell and fix bicycles.

Thanks to your donation, we reach a fifth of the budget. The project has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with schools closed again since February 20 2021 and government residential zonal lockdowns in place in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Kandal and restrictions on public gatherings and regional travel.

Even in the time of Covid-19, cycling is encouraged, according to a statement from the World Health Organization (WHO). As long as you maintain safe social distancing practices, cycling to work or to go to school can help you avoid unnecessary contact with others, helping to limit the spread of the virus, and also help meet daily recommendations for physical activity to keep a good mental health.

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. All 100 girls most in need have now been identified from 40 villages in the provinces of Sihanoukville, Kampot, Kandal and the informal settlements on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.

An initial stock of 10 bicycles has been selected from a local supplier for purchase of the Bicycles, Helmets and Bicycle Locks. The Team have also worked with the School Directors and Village Leaders to complete due diligence requirements with documents drafted for signing off by identified recipients on receipt of each Bicycle and outlining commitment to care of the Bicycle for recipients and their families to be signed on Bicycle Handover.

The Ministry of Education have not as yet made any announcement for the planned reopening of all public schools in Cambodia. Cambodia also received a good ranking from UNESCO as one of only 17 countries in the world that have given priority to vaccination against Covid-19 for teachers.
And when the schools will re-open… our girls will have a new bike to ride to education!

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!

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