Provide Sanitary Pads to Women and Girls in Uganda

by Volunteer Action Network
Provide Sanitary Pads to Women and Girls in Uganda
Provide Sanitary Pads to Women and Girls in Uganda
Provide Sanitary Pads to Women and Girls in Uganda
Provide Sanitary Pads to Women and Girls in Uganda
Provide Sanitary Pads to Women and Girls in Uganda
Provide Sanitary Pads to Women and Girls in Uganda
Provide Sanitary Pads to Women and Girls in Uganda
Provide Sanitary Pads to Women and Girls in Uganda
Provide Sanitary Pads to Women and Girls in Uganda
Provide Sanitary Pads to Women and Girls in Uganda
Provide Sanitary Pads to Women and Girls in Uganda
Provide Sanitary Pads to Women and Girls in Uganda
Community Voices
Community Voices

Uganda re-opened its schools on Monday 10th January 2022 after the longest pandemic-prompted shutdown in the world, the closing has taken a lasting toll, eroding decades of classroom gains in Uganda. Up to a third of students, many of whom took jobs during the pandemic to support their struggling families, may not return to the classroom. Thousands of schools, themselves under financial stress, are not expected to reopen their doors. And countless teachers will not come back either, having turned to other work after losing their income during the shutdown. Unless there are intensive efforts to help students catch up, “we may have lost a generation.”

One of the most crucial and challenging aspects of the recent period has been keeping in touch with girls, 20% of whom in our program are missing from school.

In response to the challenges that have arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic. For many girls, school is more than just a key to a better future. It’s a lifeline. The number of girls who might not return to school due to COVID-19’s unprecedented education disruption is alarming, but also threatens decades of progress made towards gender equality, puts girls at risk of adolescent pregnancy, early and forced marriage, and violence.

We are supporting  girls to stay connected remain safe and supported, providing them with sanitary products and menstrual health information through our Gulu Women resource Center, we are  providing access to reproductive health information, counseling and mentorship, with a 24/7 toll free service to respond to GBV related cases


Your geneous support you helped us to keep our center stay open and provide servives to girls and women in the commuity. We will continue moving forward to make sure no girl is left behid.

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Rebeca at School Receiving pads
Rebeca at School Receiving pads

“My first period came when I was 13 in the middle of lesson at school - says Rebeca, 16, from Gulu in Northern Uganda. “When I saw blood on my knickers, I rushed to ask my friend where it was coming from. She said I had started menstruating, but I didn’t understand what she meant.”

Rebecca was advised to have a bath and tell her mother about what had happened. “My mother told me not to play with boys again because I have now grown,” says Rebeca. “When I asked her about the pads, she told me she uses Old cloths and I should use the same. I got a cloth we were no longer using, tore it into pieces, washed it and dried it properly. That’s how I managed my first period and for the long time to follow, at times my school dress got stained and students laughed at me”

Rebeca further asked her friends about managing their periods. “Some told me they use rags, others said they use disposable pads but my parents refused to buy me sanitary pads. Fearing I would stain my school dress, I decided not to go back to school until my periods are done”

Unaware, her period was set to last for longer than days, Rebeca was shocked when the bleeding continued. “It took a full week - 7 school days I missed classes. I was forced to go back to my mother and ask for pads again as I got bruises every time, I used cotton cloth. She still refused. That’s when I started doing manual labour, digging for people, to earn money for pads. When I failed to earn enough, I started using rags again.”Rebeca now has access to sanitary pads through the Healthy Periods initiative implemented by Volunteer Action Network

Volunteer Action Network supports 600 girls with sanitary pads on a monthly basis making sure they stay in school and concentrate on their studies something that has improved their self-esteem and performance in class. We are committed to continues the production and distribution of pads, educate and creating awareness about period poverty and its side effects. We relly heavily on your generoug contribution to make access to sanitary pads a reality to girls and women in Norther Uganda. We kindly ask for your donation towards make Heathy Periods Initative continue reaching deserving girls and women.

Students Receiving pads at school
Students Receiving pads at school
Jeniffer Dedicates her full time producing pads
Jeniffer Dedicates her full time producing pads

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Dignity
Dignity

"I was really worried about my family since all public activities were suspended and my family depended on the market to earn income. Like many other girls, I felt unsafe when all small shops closed. It has been difficult for girls in the community to get sanitary and hygiene products during this pandemic, many have been exposed to worse challenges such as forced marriage I almost lost my pride"  Says Daphine 15 years-

“Due to lack of sanitary pad supply, females are depending on using traditional cloth napkins. Many of them don’t know the proper way of cleaning it and likely there is ample scope for bacterial infection.” 

According to Plan International, in Uganda 28% of girls miss school because they are menstruating. They meet challenges in access and affordability of menstrual products for example pads and end up improvising with materials that are not hygienic such as cow dung, old used clothes among others, lack of proper sanitation infrastructure both in schools and at homes and those that have them are in a really poor condition with no doors or the women and girls have to share the facilities with men and boys and insufficient knowledge of menstrual hygiene management. This is indeed a worrying situation that calls for joint efforts by all implementing partners.

Through the pandemic period, we continued manufacturing and distributing our locally made sanitary pads reaching out over to 2,850 girls and women 

Distributing pads alone is not enough. We have been conducting MHM education targeting girls, boys, women, and men to addressing stigma, education, and leadership 

We are joining the world and we believe;- A world without period poverty and stigma is possible. We cannot wait for the Covid-19 pandemic to end. We need to step up action and investment in menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) NOW!

We hope you will join us and consider donating to this special #MHDAY2021 Click https://www.globalgiving.org/39549

Thank you
James Supports her sister
James Supports her sister

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"I almost lost my Pride"
"I almost lost my Pride"

"I was really worried about my family since all public activities were suspended and my family depended on the market to earn income. Like many other girls, I felt unsafe when all small shops closed. It has been difficult for girls in the community to get sanitary and hygiene products during this pandemic, many have been exposed to worse challenges such as forced marriage I almost lost my pride"  Says Daphine 15 years-

“Due to lack of sanitary pad supply, females are depending on using traditional cloth napkins. Many of them don’t know the proper way of cleaning it and likely there is ample scope for bacterial infection.” 

According to Plan International, in Uganda 28% of girls miss school because they are menstruating. They meet challenges in access and affordability of menstrual products for example pads and end up improvising with materials that are not hygienic such as cow dung, old used clothes among others, lack of proper sanitation infrastructure both in schools and at homes and those that have them are in a really poor condition with no doors or the women and girls have to share the facilities with men and boys and insufficient knowledge of menstrual hygiene management. This is indeed a worrying situation that calls for joint efforts by all implementing partners.

Through the pandemic period, we continued manufacturing and distributing our locally made sanitary pads reaching out over to 2,850 girls and women 

Distributing pads alone is not enough. We have been conducting MHM education targeting girls, boys, women, and men to addressing stigma, education, and leadership 

We are joining the world and we believe;- A world without period poverty and stigma is possible. We cannot wait for the Covid-19 pandemic to end. We need to step up action and investment in menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) NOW!

We hope you will join us and consider donating to this special #MHDAY2021 Click https://www.globalgiving.org/39549

Thank you

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Pads Distribution during COVID-19 lockdown
Pads Distribution during COVID-19 lockdown

The effects caused by the measure to combat COVID-19 has affected the production and distribution of affordable sanitary pads to many girls and women. This shortage has resulted in a further bigger threat of increased teenage pregnancy and child marriages in many rural communities, If the supply does not flow continuously we risk having many girls dropping out of school.

“There is a lot of demand for affordable pads. We have received a lot of requests,” says Minishifa a project officer from one of our production units. Our production units have been idling since the lockdown was imposed, simply because we were not able to receive the raw materials. Through the period we have been distributing pads that were produced and in storage to needy girls and women and also supplying them at a cost to those seeking to buy.

There is a growing fear that if the schools open in March 2021 we might not be able to supply the needy rural schools with affordable pads if the governments do not act urgently to restore the normal production of affordable sanitary pads, the gains made over the last years in improving menstrual hygiene may be reversed in rural and peri-urban areas.  We will want the government to allow normal operations of the units making these sanitary pads while observing social distancing norms as well as the unfettered distribution of the pads. Most of our units and distribution of the pads are done by women, who are organized as self-help groups. A return to normalcy is also important to restore the livelihood of these women,  Says:-  Bukenya

When the government partially open schools for candidate classes we have distributed over 1,260 packs of sanitary pads. We acknowledge this is not enough and we will need to double our supply in the coming months, we can never sit back and watch the future of young girls robbed. 

   Quote:

"Because of you I have returned back to school safe, many of my friends are pregnant and some have been forced to get married, others ran away from their homes due to violence and the luck of the essentials like sanitary pads," Says- Esther -a 13-year-old girl.

We believe this is critical and will continue to the fight for gender justice around menstrual health, we cannot do it without your thoughtful investment consider invest as small as $50 monthly to enable girls and women to have access to affordable sanitary pads 

Thank you!

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Organization Information

Volunteer Action Network

Location: Gulu - Uganda
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @VacNet_
Project Leader:
Bukenya Muusa
Gulu, Uganda
$750 raised of $25,000 goal
 
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$24,250 to go
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