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Phase I (SDG 3 & 5): Give Hope ..... Gift Hygiene !!! (Reusable Sanitary Pads, Uganda)
Ecofriendly Reusable Sanitary Pads
𝗘𝗖𝗢𝗡𝗢𝗠𝗜𝗖𝗔𝗟 & 𝗔𝗙𝗙𝗢𝗥𝗗𝗔𝗕𝗟𝗘 𝗛𝗢𝗠𝗘-𝗠𝗔𝗗𝗘 𝗥𝗘𝗨𝗦𝗔𝗕𝗟𝗘 𝗦𝗔𝗡𝗜𝗧𝗔𝗥𝗬 𝗣𝗔𝗗𝗦 𝗙𝗢𝗥 𝗪𝗢𝗠𝗘𝗡 / 𝗚𝗜𝗥𝗟𝗦
𝗣𝗥𝗢𝗝𝗘𝗖𝗧 𝗕𝗬: Great Lakes Peace Center (Uganda) and Global Welfare Program (Endorse Hope (By Scientudio))
Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserts that everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for their health and well-being, medical care and access to social services, especially related to women's health. However, the situation is worst in sub-Saharan Africa where 1 in 10 girls misses school during her period. Further, records show 30% of girls in South Africa and 2/3 girls in Uganda do not attend school during their periods. In developing countries, the number of school days missed by girls during periods accounts for over 20% of their total school days per year. This pushes girls behind in school putting them at a high risk of dropouts further increasing gender inequalities. Young girls who do not receive education are forced into child marriages, early pregnancies, malnourishment, domestic violence, and sometimes, into prostitution. As a part of our campaign launched under Endorse Hope, we add to these efforts toward spreading awareness about menstruation and aiding grassroot activities toward improving access of girls and women to low-cost and sustainable feminine-hygiene via our movements #BreakTheChain and #givehope_gifthygiene together with the Great Lakes Peace Center in Uganda (UN-SDG#3) . In Uganda, nearly 60% to 69% rural women use old cloths instead of using washable sanitary pads leading to vaginal infection & diseases. Though in urban Uganda the trend has changed in recent years, but in rural areas such as Kasese, poor accessibility and cost-barrier are the root causes behind this dilemma.
𝗠𝗲𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗿𝘂𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗩/𝘀 𝗚𝗶𝗿𝗹 𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱 𝗘𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻
Most girls in rural settings and in particular girls in schools suffer most from stigma and lack of services and facilities to help them cope with the physical and psychological pains they undergo during their menstrual periods. Including the lack of materials for managing menstrual hygiene, no private space and wash rooms and inappropriate facilities for disposal of materials for those who have used pads. In spite of these issues, menstrual hygiene has been routinely ignored by professionals in the water, health and education sectors.
Over 80% of the school going girls still feel unsafe on their way to school and other have had poor academic performance given that most girls at menstrual ages do not have access to sanitary pads due to the high costs yet menstruation is part of the girl child and if not well catered for may ruin future of the girls child.
In turn these inefficiencies hinder the girl child education in Kasese district, for example, about half of the girl pupils miss 1-3 days of primary school per month. This translates into a loss of 8 to 24 school days per year. This means per term a girl pupil may miss up to 8 days of study. On average, there are 220 learning days in a year and missing 24 days a year translates into 11% of the time a girl pupil will miss learning due to menstrual period
To contribute towards girl child school retention through improved menstrual hygiene and sanitation management
• Aware women & girls menstrual health hygiene
• Support washable sanitary pad kits
• To provide economic opportunities through sewing the washable sanitary pad kits
• To motivate local government to put menstrual health hygiene in priority
This project directly support the 500 women & girls through support of direct distribution of washable sanitary pad kits and economic opportunities.
There are three components in this project implementation.
𝗗𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗯𝘂𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗪𝗮𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗦𝗮𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝗣𝗮𝗱 𝗸𝗶𝘁𝘀:
Washable Sanitary Pad Kit includes one Jean cotton bag, 2-shields, 8-liners, 2-underwear , 2-small towels , 1-soap , 2-ziplock bags, 1 manual of menstrual health hygiene & how to use sanitary pad . Altogether, 500 washable sanitary pad kits are supported to schools and women group. This pad is eco-friendly and last for at least 6 months.
𝗔𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝗠𝗲𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗿𝘂𝗮𝗹 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵 𝗛𝘆𝗴𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗲 𝗮𝘁 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝗹𝘀 & 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗟𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹:
Training to 12 girls on menstrual health hygiene so that they have to provide the training on schools & community level. This training is provided by field workers under guidance of Great Lakes Peace Center (Uganda) and Endorse Hope. Additional professional medical guidance and assistance is sought through local doctors or international collaborators, whenever required.
This project provides employment opportunity for 23 women & girls for 12 months that helps in boosting their morale and dignity. Many soft-skills vocational trainings are provided by our collaborators.
𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗡𝗲𝗲𝗱:
Women’s health and hygiene has been one of the key concerns over the years across the world. The awareness on menstrual hygiene and usage of Washable Sanitary Pads is virtually absent in rural areas. Poor menstrual hygiene can cause fungal infections, repeated infections, and vulnerable to infertility. Reproductive hygiene education and sexual education is not part of any education system in Uganda.
The adolescent girls get information regarding the menstruation from her mother and grandmother, who themselves had practiced the unhygienic behaviors for years and thus do not see any harm in the practices of using old cloths during menstruation. The families of the intervene communities are extremely poor and illiterate and daily wages work is the only source for majority of the families that also varies due to seasonality of the jobs in construction, agri- cultural labour works, and others. Some of the families also work at brick kilns. Few of them are marginal farmers in the villages but it’s not sufficient for food grain production for whole year. Another important factor is that the rural women and girls generally do not maintain cleanliness during menstruation period. As a result they become the host of many infectious diseases. This is due to the lack of awareness among them and also due to the economic inability for adopting better precautions like- use of good washable sanitary pad during menstruation period. Usually different varieties of Washable Sanitary Pads are found available in the market. But the reason is that these napkins are not affordable for rural poor women and girls.