Global Health Network (U) will collaborate with schools in rural Northern Uganda to conduct menstrual hygiene workshops for 2200 young girls, providing general menstrual education and training on how to make cloth sanitary pads.
As high as 29.7% of girls either miss school or dropout completely once they begin menstruation, based on a research study done by Build Africa. Although there are many programs who distribute sanitary pads to these girls, such programs also have unintended consequences that foster a sense of dependency and hinder local markets. Disposable pads do not last long and many times education is not provided in addition to reusable cloth pads, which leads to misuse and in some cases infections.
Creating a program in which girls not only learn how to make their own sanitary pads, but in which they also learn how to maintain proper hygiene throughout their cycle, we can help set them up for a life where menstruation is no longer an obstacle. Not only will we be providing education on maintaining health, but we will also teach the girls how to make sanitary pads out of materials they have access to, which will provide them with a skill that they can put to use for the rest of their lives.
Educating girls on the changes they are experiencing within their bodies will help them understand that what they are experiencing is completely normal. By educating them on the importance of menstrual hygiene and the benefits of using sanitary pads, we will help to begin shifting the culture of shame to one of confidence. More girls will be able to stay in school, allowing them to complete their education and open more doors of opportunity in their futures.