Menstruation Poverty on Girls in The Gambia

by Gambian American Foundation
Menstruation Poverty on Girls in The Gambia

For too long, Gambian educational structure has been centered around reading and math with limited exposure to science and scientific materials and technology. This has lead many students to fall behind in learning more broadly about technology and it's benefit to their educational and professional development. As a result, many youths, especially girls lack access and proficeny with technology.

In consultation with our girls, who have expressed in learning how to code, so that they could understand and explore other educational and career opportunities. We plan to lead 4 sessions for the 2023-2024 school in programming centered around technological education. We will be creating another funding raising efforts in order to raise funds in buying Dext Science sets and laptops. 

We look forward to building the STEM education program co curated by our girls. Woohoo!!!

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The pandemic has really impacted our ability to travel and reach our girls efficiently during this past school year. While in April, we were able to delivery a mini programming to our girls, we felt that it was important to carry out a condensed version of a program. Hence, comes this summer, we want to heavily fundraise, so that we can have a bigger and better programming for this upcoming schoold year. We also wish to carry-out the wishes of our girls from our co-designing sessions. We hope to raise enough funds to strategically begin delivering programs that fits their lived realities and wishes. 

This means we have to be more sttrategic with our fundraising strategy and goals. We will be meeting with our board member to see how best we can fundraise to deliver a better programming post pandemic. Overall, we look forward to engaging in heavy fundraising activities in order to give our girls the programming they deserved. 

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In April, while delivering program in The Gambia with schoo aged youth, more specially girls. The students and ourselves were engaging in a brainstorming to session to co-create programming that best address their needs. The girls expressed wanting to have the opportunity to learn and gain skills that will enable them to become entrepreneurs if they are not able to attain highter education. The girls envision having trainings to be seamstress, chefs, and fashion designer that will allow them work and or open their own businesses when they finish high school. 

Those that were interest in pursuing higher education wanted to be train in STEM education. This requires having tools in the classroom that will foster learning in this area. Together we we draft a working strategic plan for 2022. We will work towards raising funds that is geared towards STEM education. While at the same, contined providing utility to reduced menstrual poverty.

We intend to create another project that seeks to compliment our Menstrual poverty empowerment program by adding a STEM education program to encourage girls to enter the STEM field. 

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Menstrual poverty is a serious issue in the developing world for many girls. Many girls lack access to obtaining pads during their menstrual cycles. This pushes many to missed school during their cycles because they lack access to pads, hence, they missed critical learning times as they are forced to stay home. This is why we wanted to make an impact in girls' education by providing much needed pads to school age girls to prevent and reduced their absence from school. 

From the funds that we raised, we were able to purchased pads and school supplies. This allowed us to distribute 4 months supplies of pads to 24 girls at the Babylon Basic and Primary School in Lamin, The Gambia in April. We had a great time engaging the girls in topics related to sexual health, life plans, and their general hopes for the future. While some of the girls look forward to having the opportunity to attend college after graduation, others wanted the opportunity to gain skills that will allow them to get a job after graduation. While a few of the girls were shy taking the pads in the beginning, they eventually came around when they saw their classmates feeling comfortable talking about proper hygene during and after one's menstrual cycle and the need to have clean access to sanitary pads. 

Our pads distribution was fantastic, our girls were very happy and grateful for receiving the supplies. They encourage us to continuing doing this important program and prayed that we never stop doing so. This touched us greatly with a continued renewal to continue with this work and much more.

We are grateful to GlobalGiving for this continued fundraising efforts!

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The pandemic had made it difficult to travel to carryout programming. However, we have purchased all of our menstrual pads along with school supplies. These items were shipped and they arrived safely in The Gambia. They are currently stored in our storage. As soon as  our team members are vaccinated, we will be able to safely travel to The Gambia in order for us to have a safe program in distributing the menstrual pads to our girls and give them school supplies as well along with ensuring that they are mentally and physically well. 

We are patiently waiting to be able to travel safely and resume programming. We are hopeful that by the next three months, we will be able to do so. In the meantime, we have been able to stay in touch with our girls via whatsapp messaging in order to ensure that they are safe and well during these difficult time. Thankfully, they are all coping well and staying in touch. 

We look forward to get our programming going soon. 

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Organization Information

Gambian American Foundation

Location: Pembroke Pines, FL - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Mariama Jaiteh
Pembroke Pines, FL United States
$3,737 raised of $5,000 goal
 
62 donations
$1,263 to go
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