Simple is 15 years old and in Grade 6 at Akonyibedo Primary School in Uganda. When she first began getting her period she had no access to sanitary pads and was forced to use old cloths. Getting soap was difficult so she began working so she could afford to purchase it in order to avoid the odour and ridicule from her male classmates. Since the Keep a Girl in School program visited her school, she has had a consistent supply of underwear, sanitary pads and soap, which she says helps her keep clean so she can focus on her studies. She is currently one of the highest grading students at her school. She says, “I am confident and don’t fear contributing in class anymore. I am aiming high in my studies so that I can become a teacher”.
An estimated 53 million primary school aged children are not in school and only 56% of students in sub-Saharan Africa who start primary school reach the last grade.
Menstruation has a pronounced effect on the quality and enjoyment of education and is a key reason for girls dropping out of school in Uganda. Without access to menstrual hygiene products, latrines, places to change, safe water and sanitation, and good hygiene practices, a school environment is not enabling health or gender equality. Lack of affordable sanitary products and underwear means that the girls either stay at home for fear of ridicule and harassment, or they are forced to use unsafe materials such as rags, newspaper or bark.
One study in Uganda found that 1 in 3 girls missed all or part of a school day during their menstrual cycle. In Gulu, Northern Uganda most rural parents can’t afford sanitary pads and children are encouraged to stay at home. Without an education, these girls will be unable to compete for jobs and will likely be dependent on someone else for survival. Their own children’s chance of survival in the first five years of life is also predicted to decrease significantly.
The program provides sanitary supplies, soap, underwear and education to keep girls in school during their monthly menstruation. It also provides mentorship to the girls through life skills and character development training, and education to parents, teachers, and communities on the importance and benefits of female education. This is a simple project that places value on the girls to stay in school and through this we can be a part of breaking the cycle of poverty for her and for her children.
Local Church AWARENESS.
If you are part of a local church please be mindful of your local church vision and be sure to graciously submit and share your heart with those in leadership in your life. We believe we should see this as an ‘above and beyond’ endeavour that has the capacity to reach out and build bridges into our unchurched communities and ultimately be a blessing.
For girls to feel empowered to stay in school and complete their education. Pray for the support of teachers, families and communities to support girls to stay in school.
Check out our handy little tips on various ways to raise funds. Please see the financial guidelines document online for more practical information. Please note that if a project is completed we reserve the right to transfer any excess funds to another project.
$500 AUD can help provide sanitary products and education for 8 girls for a year in Uganda.
£500 can help provide sanitary products and education for 16 girls for a year in Uganda.
€500 can help provide sanitary products and education for 12 girls for a year in Uganda.
R500 can help provide sanitary products and education for 1 girl for a year in Uganda.
$500 USD can help provide sanitary products and education for 11 girls for a year in Uganda.
TELL US YOUR STORY
Send us an email at [email protected] as we would love to hear about how you did it!