The project aims to improve girls' access to school and increase re-enrolment of girls who have dropped out through provision of reusable pads/menstrual kits and capacity building on menstrual hygiene management and reproductive health for improved performance and self-esteem in Nsanje District in Malawi.
Girls in Malawi face enormous challenges to staying in school. Some of them are inadequate sanitary materials when experiencing monthly periods as most of them can't afford to buy artificial sanitary pads because of the financial constraints from families they come from. Such challenges increases absenteeism among girls and this situation puts girls at the disadvantaged position since they miss classes on average of 5 days every month and this lead to the high dropout rate.
In a bid to reduce drop-out rate and increase retention of girls in school, the project will train Mother Groups from the 10 primary schools in Nsanje district to make reusable sanitary pads for girls using locally sourced materials, provide sewing machines to Mother Groups and distribute reusable pads made by these local women to the girls, provide underwear, buckets, and soap for cleaning to 1500 girls. The project will carry out educational activities about menstruation and sex education.
Up to 1,500 girls will benefit from the project. The project will have an impact on health status of girls through improvement of personal hygiene of the girls as a result of using the reusable pads, the knowledge and understanding of girls on menstrual hygiene and reproductive health issues will be enhanced further leading to improved health status, increased levels of confidence and active involvement of girls in school, and there will be a significant reduction in the school drop-out rate.