This project will provide practical resources so 500 adolescent girls in Uganda can manage their periods with confidence and dignity and stay in school after puberty. We will work with faith schools and communities to improve school hand-washing and toilet facilities, and deliver training in menstrual hygiene and puberty education to address the stigma and shame that surround menstruation. We will also provide sanitary packs, including reusable sanitary pads which last for three years.
Many Ugandan girls cannot afford sanitary protection during their periods. To make matters worse, school toilets often have no doors, water or washing facilities. Ignorant about puberty and afraid of staining their clothes and being 'shamed', many girls miss school during their period, while some drop out altogether. Only 53% of girls in Uganda complete primary education and even fewer secondary. Poor menstrual health is a key factor in girls dropping out of school and remaining in poverty.
Providing menstrual health resources and improving toilet and washing facilities will make it easier for girls to manage their periods and stay in school after puberty. Working with faith leaders and teachers in Muslim and Christian schools to deliver puberty education will address the stigma and silence surrounding menstruation. This will create a more supportive environment for girls so they can achieve their potential.
As a secular charity working with all major faiths, we bring the whole community together to improve water, sanitation and hygiene in school. This ensures that improvements are sustainable. Faith groups have strong influence and networks in Uganda, a deeply religious country, and run more than half of its schools. Involving faith leaders in breaking the silence on menstruation is vital to achieve a deep-rooted and lasting change in social attitudes, benefiting thousands of women and girls