Our projects in Mozambique aim at addressing the multiple barriers that rural girls face - supporting them with school kits, raising awareness on girls' education, combating early marriages and pregnancies. This project tackles a less visible problem, but a critical one: due to lack of access to sanitary pads, during their periods girls rely on unhygienic and uncomfortable materials that often prevent them from engaging in daily activities, including going to school.
Menstruation is one of the many barriers that girls face in rural Mozambique and that negatively impact on their health, well-being and confidence as well as on school attendance. Particularly in those cases where schools do not have improved, girls-only latrines and access to water, they might opt for staying at home during their periods. Therefore, menstruation is one of the many causes of girls drop-out from school, together with early marriages and pregnancies.
Helpcode provides safe, colourful, long-lasting washable menstrual kits to at least 1500 teen girls in 20 schools in rural Mozambique (Gorongosa, Moamba and Marracuene districts) as well as information material on safe menstruation management and reproductive health developed in collaboration with the social enterprise Afripads. Helpcode in collaboration with schools and local artists organizes interactive theatre sessions where issues of reproductive health are discussed in a fun way.
Girls learn how to manage their period safely and comfortably, and are adequately informed on reproductive health: this increases their wellbeing and confidence, helps them in making informed choice over their life, and avoids that they miss school - therefore improving their school performance. The project is coherent with and complements Helpocode child protection and girls' empowerment strategy in Mozambique, that aims at enhancing girls' and boys' role as agents of change in the communities