This project provides free sanitary pads and instructional materials to internally displaced schoolgirls in Abuja and other community schools as a way to boost menstrual hygiene and educational achievement. The availability of sanitary products and accompanying instruction in adolescent reproductive health will improve school attendance and help the girls remain in school for more years. Completing high school has been correlated with positive outcomes for girls and their future families.
According to UNESCO, an estimated 1 out of 10 girls in Africa miss school because of their periods each year. The World Bank estimates that four days of school are missed every four weeks, between 10 and 20 percent of the school year. Worse, the inability to afford sanitary products cause up to 5% of girls in low income communities to stop school altogether when they start menstruating.
Our solution is a pilot project loosely based on the World Bank designed Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) along with results of interactive session with school authorities and community leaders of IDPs camps. We will provide free sanitary pads, instructional materials, coaching from qualified personnel and peer support to help schoolgirls manage their menses in a healthy and safe manner.
This project will help these 100 vulnerable girls keep up their school attendance and possibly complete their secondary education. They will stop unsafe practices during their periods and be sensitized on their sexual and reproductive health and rights. This project will not only make an immediate positive difference to the lives of these girls, but in the long term, will give them the opportunity to become fully accomplished and educated women who will contribute to sustainable development.