Dit artikel is hier in het Nederlands beschikbaar.
Since the beginning of 2021 we have been raising funds to provide (school going) teenage girls in our work area with a set of washable sanitary pads. In Uganda, girls’ school participation is low (80% do not finish primary school!); structural lack of access to sanitary pads, known as period poverty, as a result of general poverty plays a significant role in this.
The initial idea was therefore to distribute the sets at schools, but due to the ongoing pandemic and, as a result, the extremely long school closure in Uganda, this was unfortunately not possible throughout 2021. To make things worse, it turned out over time that the long school closure (even the longest in the world!) had disastrous consequences for problems such as HIV/AIDS among girls, teenage pregnancies, (young) maternal deaths as a result of unsafe abortions and even the literal dumping newborn babies who, of course, often did not survive. Not having access to sanitary pads also played a major role in all this; we learned that desperate teenage girls offer themselves for sex to get sanitary pads in return. It’s not so difficult to understand the above mentioned consequences of that.
For us, this was reason not to wait for the schools to open again, but to take action as soon as possible. Donations received have enabled us to provide several hundred girls, at our location or in their home villages, with a set of washable sanitary pads from August through December; to enable the girls to actually wash the bandages, they always also receive a bar of soap.
At the beginning of January (with the schools still closed), girls of Bwama Primary School received a set of washable sanitary pads with soap, some of them at our location, others in their home village.
With the schools finally reopening on January 10, we were able to resume our initial plan to distribute the sets at the schools. Unfortunately, we initially had problems with the supply of the pads, but now the girls at the four schools where we have previously installed rainwater collections systems (Burimba Primary School, Kasinde Primary School, Kitooma Primary School and Mwendo Primary School) have also received a set. At each school, the sets were distributed in the presence of a female teacher who provided the girls with the necessary information.
Please view the pictures in the slider and the video below to experience the gratitude of the girls,
Altogether, we were able to provide 470 girls with a set of washable sanitary pads and soap during the first months of this year!
We thank ‘Stiching E&Tas’ and ‘Dirk Bos Fonds’ from the Netherlands for making this financially possible.
It is our intention to continue this initiative, but in order to do so we of course depend on donations. On our website you can read under ‘How you can help’ in which ways you can help us achieve our goals.
Every contribution, small or large, is highly appreciated by us.
We can help a girl for as little as €5.
HWMCO-Nederland & NiCA Foundation
‘We Fight Poverty by Bringing Development’
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