26 young women and girls were completely attentive at a recent class at their rural school in Uganda. The topic was menstruation and the facilitator was Hussein, program manager for One School at a Time.There had never been a class like this one before and the subject was both interesting and relevant. Some of the girls were already menstruating and some were not. One girl commented “menstruation is a problem because it comes when we are not prepared.”
The discussion then became a brainstorming session on how the girls could be better prepared. Everyone agreed that it would be helpful to count the 28 days between cycles, (noting plenty of variation) and then acknowledged that sanitary pads and nickers (the Ugandan word for underwear) would be needed. Hussein asked, “who needs pads?” and every single girl raised her hand.
Menstruation is one of the reasons that girls drop out of school in Uganda. Parents often can not afford to provide sanitary pads and so, reluctant to be humiliated at school, girls choose to stay home. They miss valuable class time and some eventually just drop out of school completely.
One School at a Time is fundraising now to purchase 100 Empower Kits ($22 each) for each older girl at our two partner schools in Uganda. The kit contains 5 re-useable pads. These pads are culturally appropriate (Ugandan girls are familiar with washing their menstrual rags and re-using) and will provide enough sanitary supplies to last each girl for at least three to five years. By donating a kit, you provide these girls with security and confidence and most importantly, an opportunity to stay in school. Join with us in this beautiful endeavor!