Save Hope of 6,800 Girls drop out of school Uganda

by African Partners for Child Poverty - APPCO
Save Hope of 6,800 Girls drop out of school Uganda

APPCO is saving 6,800 vulnerable girls from dropping out of school by providing a Package of scholastic materials, Uniforms, school fees and training on sanitary pads making as Menstrual Hygiene and management approach for girl child school retention in Eastern and Northern Uganda. The project targets 24 schools to boost education of girls affected by Poverty, war trauma, and cultural practices including early marriage, 12 boreholes will be drilled in 12 schools and nearby communities.

"When girls are in school, they are busy and their minds are doing something. But this pandemic has delayed the girls studying and acquiring knowledge," said, the Emergency Response Manager APPCO. "Now we have girls saying they are facing challenges in terms of early marriage. We have communities where parents are very traditional and once a girl has grown to age, they think about marrying her off and getting a dowry in exchange."

APPCO empowers girls by providing scholastic materials to boost their education, support rural girls with school fees to resist financial pressures from parents and training on making re-usable sanitary pads as Menstrual Hygiene Management. We will construct girls changing rooms and latrines in rural schools to reduce time spent in walking back home to change during periods. Those rural girls walking long distance will be provided with Bicycles to reduce risks of sexual abuse and training girl Clubs (GEM).

This project is using an integrated and holistic model of interventions that combines strategies to

Provision of psychosocial support aims at working closely support community support structures activities including household economic strengthening, parenting education and Strengthen community-based child protection mechanisms, and mobilize communities to support and monitor children’s wellbeing and parenting skills.


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APPCO interventions on COVID-19 Response:

Humanitarian intervention is core to our mandate, so we are deep into the coronavirus prevention-intervention in the areas we work. APPCO is here to augment the work that the government does.

And even with all the challenges and risks, the government gave us movement permits so essential staff can access refugee settlements. While it’s our mandate to do this as humanitarian workers, we can’t disregard that we are exposing ourselves and need to mitigate the risk. We have personal protective equipment supplies and a counsellor to support staff. We are looking for every means possible to give our staff the means to fulfill the organization’s humanitarian mandate, but also feel safe.

APPCO is directly involved in risk-information and educational campaigns. People may not have a TV or electricity where they live, so we have a duty to inform the public on dangers of the coronavirus, using the appropriate media. For example, we are printing posters in various local languages to inform people on health practices and tips.

Women and girls as most vulnerable during this pandemic

We know that women and girls suffer the most in crises and are very vulnerable to gender-based violence. The socio-cultural realities and the resulting power dynamics place women and girls in a position of subservience. In normal times, we address the underlying causes of this power imbalance and have been successful at that. But given the COVID-19 situation, we continue to provide support on the phone, and through staff who are working in the refugee settlements. There are some cases of gender-based violence, intimate partner violence that are urgent, they can’t wait. We should be there in person, but the truth is that won’t always be possible.

Similarly, girls are at an increased risk of child marriage because families who lose their incomes are often more likely to marry their daughters to alleviate financial challenges. Since schools are vital safe spaces that protect girls and give them access to help and advice through their teachers, the closure of schools and girls traveling back to their villages reverses gains made in girls' education and empowerment. It is therefore key that we act to reduce the long-term consequences of the pandemic beyond the period of school closures.


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The project will save 6,800 vulnerable girls from dropping out of school by providing a Package of scholastic materials, Uniforms, school fees and training on sanitary pads making as Menstrual Hygiene and management approach for girl child school retention in Eastern and Northern Uganda. The project targets 24 schools to boost education of girls affected by Poverty, war trauma, and cultural practices including early marriage. 12 boreholes will be drilled in 12 schools and nearby communities.

APPCO empowers girls by providing scholastic materials to boost their education, support rural girls with school fees to resist financial pressures from parents and training on making re-usable sanitary pads as Menstrual Hygiene Management. We will construct girls changing rooms and latrines in rural schools to reduce time spent in walking back home to change during periods. Those rural girls walking long distance will be provided with Bicycles to reduce risks of sexual abuse and training girl Clubs (GEM).

This project is using an integrated and holistic model of interventions that combines strategies to

Provision of psychosocial support aims at working closely support community support structures activities including household economic strengthening, parenting education and Strengthen community-based child protection mechanisms, and mobilize communities to support and monitor children’s wellbeing and parenting skills.


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Achieved activities this reporting period

Conduct community and school outreaches to change attitudes.

APPCO this reporting period has reached to Twelve (12) schools in the five(5) subcounty and division target locations, youth leaders through the support of staff were able to mobilize  women into their groups equip them with necessary information on stigma reduction, draw plans for reaching to other groups and get involved in community activism.

APPCO conducted a community and school assessment. While discussions with children during school club peer sessions, they highlighted locations where they felt safe and unsafe; they felt safe in the church but felt unsafe in areas including the roadside (due to risks of weapons, accidents or abduction), at waterpoints where fights break out and sometimes at home because they don’t have a father present (with a sense of self stigma attached to this).

APPCO was able to distribute basic scholastic materials to vulnerable girls in 12 supported schools. This activity was carried out by the field staff in consultation with the head teachers and teachers of all the 12 mapped schools. In each school the activity targeted 115 girls (51 in P1$P2, 33 in P3$P4 and 31 in P5, P6, P7).  Pens, Books, pencils and mathematical sets were distributed to1.032 pupil’s (female =512, male =520). During the distribution, the staff would have a discussion with them and share basic relevant information on Value, retention and completion of Education, provide sessions on life skills and positive attitude change for all children in schools.

The teachers and parents supported the team especially in mobilizing children and always have continued to participate in go back to school campaigns in different fora’s while changing attitudes related to sexual violence. Reduced level of stigmatization against women who have been abandoned by their husbands of whom some men have been re-united with their women. A few women reported that their husbands have taken up family responsibility.

 

Successfully APPCO held Menstrual Hygiene and Management (MHM) training for staff and 20 selected girl mentors in the 12 schools identified. They were taken through a unique our girl model. This training that also attracted 5 mothers as education advocates  who always work with staff ,senior women teachers and sexual reproductive health practioners  specifically  to support girls, identify those dropped out of school, refer and model their behaviors .the skills acquired enabled women to make pads  locally using  available resources which include pieces of clothes, sowing Needles and threads and also  came up with what they can use during their Menstruation. Trainees were able to make pads packs made were distributed to school going and drop outs during a joint partner go back to school campaign.


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1.0. PROJECT SUMMARY:

This project is designed to save over 6,800 vulnerable girls from dropping out of school in rural communities in Uganda. The project empowers girls to be active in school by providing all scholastic materials, training on life skills and hygiene management.

In this reporting period 24 schools were reached and 280 girls were supported with scholastic materials (Exercise Books, Pens, Pencils, Mathematical sets, rulers and Uniforms), these assorted items are meant to boost the girl’s education and retention in school to complete education cycle.

2.0. ACHIEVEMENT

Rollout Training of girl Mentors

180 School girls

APPCO identified a total of 130 girls in 24 schools and trained in Menstrual Hygiene and Management, life skills and psychosocial support using peer to peer approach.

  • APPCO procured and distributed to 3 schools an assortment of hygiene sanitary materials like pads, pampers for babies, and liquid soap. It was observed that attendance of girls during menstrual period has improved. 1,84 girls have been supported through MHM activities.

       Trained Social Workers having psychosocial session

 

Awareness creation on support a girl go back to school campaign within the school communities

School girls

This activity is still continuing especially in refugee affected communities in Westnile region. A total of 320 girls have been reached directly through awareness campaigns. This has created and this has led to improvements in attendance of learners while the dropout rates are getting reduced through the joint stakeholder’s involvement in mobilization of children to attend school and complete school.

To provide school fees to identified vulnerable girls

School girls  

A total of 22 girls have been successfully paid of their school fees for the third term studies in 4 schools. The payment of tuition will enable girls to complete their end of year examination and graduate to next class level next year.

We have noted that girls whose school fees/tuition has been paid early improve their performance and motivate other girls to stay in school and concentrate.

Provision of scholastic materials

 A total of 280 girls were identified and supported with assorted scholastic materials (Exercise Books, Pens, Pencils, Mathematical sets, rulers and Uniforms) which has enabled them to stay in school peacefully.

3.0. challenges.

  • High number of girls that need to be supported to remain in school, despite donor low contribution to the project

4.0. Lessons learnt

  • Keeping girls in school help to improve their self-esteem and life skills hence resisting pressure from cultural norms which infringe on girl’s rights especially early marriage leading to drop of school
  • There is a huge need for psychosocial support to be provided alongside education programmes in order to ensure that girl children, the majority of whom have been subjected to extremely traumatic experiences, are able to learn again.

5.0.RECOMMENDATION.

APPCO will keep mobilizing to girls to have hope for education, be in school which in turn will affect the entire community through training girls and boys to act as peer leaders about reproductive health, Train on reusable sanitary pads to girls in school and stock girls changing rooms and more so continue holding positive parenting sessions.

Empower girls and increasing rural girl's access to education while reducing their vulnerability to external shocks and can drastically improve their decision making, resist pressure from cultural practices which has eventually provided for their family’s health and economic well-being


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Organization Information

African Partners for Child Poverty - APPCO

Location: Kampala - Uganda
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @appcoug
Project Leader:
Michael Enyakoit Anyeko
Kampala, Uganda
$21,589 raised of $99,800 goal
 
205 donations
$78,211 to go
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