In Uganda, drop-out rates are high for rural girls. Up to 80% of girls entering primary school will never complete their primary education. According to senior women teachers and head teachers, 7 out 10 girls miss schools weekly, out of 50 girls enrolled in school, 35 of them drop out once they start their menstruation. 90% of girls get pregnant because of lack of sex education. Country wide, Uganda has the highest teen pregnancy rate in sub-Saharan Africa with over 30% of Ugandan girls having their first baby by the time they are 18 years.
This project will increase the chances of academic success for over 2000 Ugandan girls in Kasese district for a period of 1 year through
• Producing and distributing reusable eco-friendly sanitary pads through the RFCD-U girls support programme.
• Training of girls in gender and development.
• Training of peer educators on menstrual hygiene management, sexually reproductive health rights and how to avoid early pregnancies.
• Producing movies/videos in Lhukonzo local language on puberty, growing up and ways to protect against unwanted sexual advances.
• IEC (Information Education and Communication) materials and media related activities.
The prime objective of the project is to ensure that adolescent girls in Kasese district will not have to miss school simply because they are menstruating. Other objectives are to ensure that:
• To increase adolescent girls knowledge on comprehensive menstrual hygiene management, body changes and risk awareness of HIV/AIDS among in-school and out of school girls between the ages 10 to 19 years;
• To improve school attendance among girls between the ages of 10 and 19 years in primary and Secondary schools;
• To train children (both boys and girls) on the making and usage of local re-usable menstrual pads and stigma management
• To engage the school management over budgeting for menstrual hygiene management in schools budget.
• To increase the self-esteem of needy girls between ages 10 to 19 years;
The project will target girls in Munkunyu, Nyakiyumbu, Bwera and Ihandiro Primary Schools. Primary target was on girls in menstrual age i.e. 9-15 years especially those in upper primary classes (P.5-P.7). The project will also target older boys in the school, who will be trained to ensure peer to peer support to girls and elimination/reduction of stigma and discrimination among girls during menstruation while at school.
Another target will be the teachers in the schools, where both male and female teachers will be trained on the importance of MHM and the need to guide and counsel girls during Menstruation.
The project will also target the School Management Committee and PTA members since they are the policy makers and budget holders of the schools. These are targeted because they will be engaged to make sure they always have a small vote within the school budget for funding MHM and SRHR issues in the schools.