One way of keeping girls in school is by addressing girl's menstrual needs. This project entails the: Construction of Toilets & Change Rooms, Delivery of Underwear & Reusable Sanitary Pads (MHM), Training of Adolescent Girls, Teachers & Mothers on the Making of Reusable Pads, Drilling of Boreholes for Access to Water. This will in turn ensure a reduction in school drop-outs & child marriages as girls will remain in school allowing them a fair opportunity to eventually enter the workforce.
Girls drop out of school due to poverty which leads to early marriages for survival. Only 23% of Malawi schools provide sanitation facilities & 19% have access to hand washing facilities. Girls of menstruation age are worst affected by this and often skip school as a result. It becomes difficult to catch up with other learners which, sadly, translates into a high drop-out rate. Malawi has one of the highest rates of child marriages in the world with 46% of girls married by the age of 18.
Students will benefit from appropriate sanitation facilities for the management of their menstrual hygiene. All pupils & teachers will have access to potable water ensuring good hygiene practices which leads to improved health and a reduction in the number of water-borne diseases. The girls will receive reusable sanitary pads as well as the skills and supplies to make their own so they will never need to buy sanitary pads again as, due to poverty, disposable pads are somewhat unattainable.
These structures are permanent additions to schools & will not only benefit current students but many future students. Initial training will be given to current students but the sanitary pad making skill will be shared from pupil to pupil for many grades to come. The long-term benefit of an education is priceless as girls are given an opportunity to self-sustain without the need to rush into child marriages & will, one day, as adults be in a position to afford disposable pads & other 'luxuries'.