Improving reproductive health rights in Uganda

by Share Child Opportunity Eastern and Northen Uganda (SCOEN)
Improving reproductive health rights in Uganda
Improving reproductive health rights in Uganda
Improving reproductive health rights in Uganda
Improving reproductive health rights in Uganda
Improving reproductive health rights in Uganda
Improving reproductive health rights in Uganda
Improving reproductive health rights in Uganda
Improving reproductive health rights in Uganda

As SCOEN enhances awareness of reproductive health rights, services to adolescent girls & young women to undertake intensive educational activities on the use of modern contraceptives to protect against STIs, unwanted pregnancies among 600 women 2600 in-out of school girls in Uganda using youth friendly services, Rights Based approach, focus groups, Adult-centered learning, Peer-to-Peer, Outreaches, table talks, Film & Health Education Talks.

This brief report highlights our greatest achievements, summarizes our financials and recognizes the generosity of our community. It also features the stories and voices of young people.

Among them is Aguti. She is a high school student and advocate for girls' rights in her community.

"For the past 20 months, I have gotten to know myself and my community better in live in—thanks to the adolescent girls and young women who opened my eyes, walked with me and shared stories that sparked my need to see change happen. I now have the capacity, courage and conviction to fight for my rights and the rights of others."

Along with a group of her peers, Aguti successfully advocated for  comprehensive sexuality education in their school. It's finally allowed to be conducted at their school, many time the aspect was againist the community traditions and beliefs.

We recognize that real and lasting change takes time, persistence and a community of support. 

We are incredibly grateful for your continued support excited to embark on works with the targed communities. Together we will equip more girls with critical knowledge, skills and tools to lead healthy, successful and choice-filled lives and advocate for change in their communities.

In appreciation,

Grace

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The Situation: There are more young people today, and HIV/AIDS has affected more than half of the world's population that is under the age of 25 years. Uganda's young population is 52% of the population and this is the age that is most affected by HIV/AIDs. The high risk sexually active women account for 16% of the youth, while high risk sexually active men account for 36%. Related to these behavioural challenges are unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and cross-generational sex that are grossly exploitative, especially for the girl child. Adolescents are frequently reluctant to seek sexual and reproductive health services (SRH).

In Uganda, adolescent health and development is constrained by translation of the relevant policies to practice. Recent studies done in central Uganda have shown that there is need for a critical assessment of adolescent friendly services (AFS) to gain insights on current practice and inform future interventions. This study aimed to assess the sexual reproductive health needs of the adolescents and explored their attitudes towards current services available.

Our research results clearly show that adolescents have real SRH issues that need to be addressed. In and out-of-school adolescents had sexuality problems such as unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), defilement, rape, substance abuse. Unique to the females was the issue of sexual advances by older men and adolescents. We further highlight RH needs which would be solved by establishing adolescent friendly clinics with standard recommended characteristics (sexuality information, friendly health providers, a range of good clinical services such as post abortion care etc.). With regard to health seeking behaviour, most adolescents do not take any action at first until disease severity increase.

 

Adolescents in Uganda have multiple sexual and reproductive health needs that require special focus through adolescent friendly services. This calls for resource support in terms of health provider training, information education and communication materials as well as involvement of key stakeholders that include parents, teachers and legislators.

SCOEN works to ensure that adolescents and young people have access to adequate and accurate information and friendly health services. Youth counseling, access to family planning and HIV/AIDS services are among the packages used to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS.

Currently we have limited fund to carry on with work, with the fund from generous people like you here have resently supported our girl counseling session.

Thank you for you support.

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Menstruation is one of the most beautiful natural phenomena in a person’s life. Despite its beauty, it is also an experience that is associated with humiliation meant to intimidate people who menstruate across Africa and other parts of the world. 

Menstruation is often criticized or ridiculed by many cultures and societies, which affects women and girls negatively. Gender inequality, extreme poverty, humanitarian crises, deprivation and stigma attached to menstruation have silenced most women, who often face exclusion, neglect, and discrimination while menstruating. 

Menstruation was perceived as dirty or shameful, prohibiting women and girls from discussing their menstrual health. This view contributed to restrictions women and girls faced during their period. At times, these restrictions were even self-imposed as most women and girls were told to fear handling food in the kitchen, participating in school activities, and joining social gatherings while on their period. This enforced the idea that they have less claim to public spaces, and that they were less able to participate in public life. Many women and girls around the world still suffer from menstrual related misconceptions and are encouraged to keep menstruation a secret. Schools, homes, hospitals, churches, mosques, and the media are not doing enough to educate the public about menstruation and ease the challenges that women and girls face. There is an urgency to address menstruation properly. Society will not see an end to teenage pregnancy, school dropouts, high illiteracy rates, or extreme poverty until the world learns to approach menstruation and menstrual health differently. 

In our context in order to empower young girls in rural communities to understand that menstruation is a blessing and a fortunate thing to experience, we teach girls about the reproductive system in general and educates them to understand, own, and manage their menstrual cycle.

Our team conducted a survey to know who mentors the girls during their periods, which sanitary products the girls use during their menstruation, and how they access these sanitary products. 

Most girls stated that their parents do not initiate any communication concerning their period, so they often keep it a secret. Some also said that their parents are not able to afford sanitary pads, so the girls try to earn a little money to pay for the products they need by collecting firewood or engaging in manual labor. Others also said they use handkerchiefs, pieces of cloth, and tissues when they have their periods

The results of the survey clearly highlighted the need for increased access to menstrual hygiene products. SCOEN’s team worked to find a solution for girls to have access to menstrual products. SCOEN provided 200 reusable sanitary pads from Days for Girls to group participants. Provid education and resources on menstrual, sexual, and reproductive health, donated reusable and disposable pads and other materials for club members. 

Today, around 380 girls in the club have access to a reusable sanitary pad that lasts for 3 years. They feel confident to discuss their period, they understand their menstrual cycle, and they have control over it. The girls are very excited and have expressed so much gratitude and appreciation to GlobalGivers like you; thank you for your generosity and support. 

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Dear GlobalGivers,

We are grateful to you, up to date we have $568 raised of $23,680 goal; this has helped us facilitate capacity of 15 Trainers and 25 peer educators in CSE Peer education, and conduct one training of  trainer of trainers Life skills based Comprehensive sexuality education sessions for out of school girls and boys.

There is still need for funds our next activities are:-

Improving access and quality of education for girls in Malawi

  • Build capacity of 100 Trainers and 200 peer educators inComprehensive sexuality education (CSE)Peer education
  • Conduct trainer of trainers Life skills based Comprehensive sexuality education sessions for out of school girls and boys
  • Renovate and rehabilitate youth friendly health services and link schools to youth friendly services (YFHS), GBV prevention and management structures within their communities to promote access to YFHS including HIV counseling and testing, treatment, care and support
  • Train youth friendly service providers (CSE, YFHS, and GBV) in the targeted schools and communities
  • Support school and cluster level debates on life skills and SRH
  • Create demand for YFHS services among young people
  • Procure YFHS recreation and educative for YFHS sites and schools
  • Support Provision of YFHS outreach services for young people, especially adolescent girls

You can help to consolidate reproductive health knowledge among rural communities targeting adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) to support demystification of Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) myths, misconceptions, increase awareness of SRHR.

Your support is key in solving this problem.Would you consider donating one-time gift of $100 or Monthly gift of $25 to help us to increase awareness of SRHR targeting AGYWs?

Your donation will have an impact on 3200 adolescent girls and young women and will be used to increase awareness of SRHR. Focusing on Family Planning, STIs, antenatal & postnatal services, use of modern contraceptives for dual protection against STIs & unwanted pregnancies among 3200 AGYW.

 

#StaySafe #COVID-19

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Thank you for supporting our Improving reproductive health rights in Uganda programme.

We celebrated Menstrual Hygiene Day. The theme of the event was ‘to educate, eradicate stigma and end period poverty’. To comply with COVID-19 restrictions and reach as many communities as possible we spread our programme activities and celebrations across the month of May. Participants included men, women, girls and boys. The programme was very interactive and included different activities all geared towards offering education and breaking the silence on menstrual health issues, 131 people attended.

This programme continues throughout the year and the content of our workshops includes 6 sessions – Growth and body changes – learning about puberty; Reproductive health – learning about the menstrual cycle, reproductive health systems and providing a safe space for participants to discuss related issues; Reusable sanitary kits – demonstration of reusable pads and how to make them using locally available materials; Challenges to menstrual health management – challenges faced by women and girls include the expense of buying sanitary towels for families already struggling with finances, lack of emotional support and understanding, lack of access to water, soap, pads, missing out on school and work every month and taboos within families and the communities around menstruation which cause further isolation and lack of support; Bracelet making - the menstruation bracelet is a global symbol for menstruation and a teaching tool with 28 sections made of beads or card to signify the menstrual cycle and Games and Sports – included to break barriers and highlight that periods shouldn’t inhibit women and girls in what they can do during their periods once they have the knowledge and support to manage them.

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Organization Information

Share Child Opportunity Eastern and Northen Uganda (SCOEN)

Location: Soroti, Eastern Uganda - Uganda
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Scoenuganda1
Project Leader:
Hellen Ijangolet
Soroti, Eastern Uganda Uganda
$1,088 raised of $23,680 goal
 
36 donations
$22,592 to go
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