Describe your idea in fewer than 50 words.
To provide free sanitary towels to poor girls attending the Government's free secondary education as a way of reducing dropout and absenteeism rates.
Many girls in rural areas cannot afford buying sanitary towels and use leaves of a tree locally known as bikookooma and others use pieces of old cloth. Many dropout or stay at home during this period of the month.
What makes your idea unique?
In order for a student to concentrate on the study of math, reading or writing that student must be prepared emotionally and psychologically. Anything that affects her emotionally or psychologically affects her concentration thereby hindering her learning capacity. Lack of proper sanitation kits for a girl during menstruation greatly affects her emotionally and psychologically. Another factor is absenteeism and dropout. Anything that makes the girl student irregular at school affects her study of Math, reading and writing. The situation is worsened when that girl has to dropout without finishing her math, reading, or writing course. So if we are to teach those skills effectively, we have to ensure that that girl child finishes her course and while at school, that she is emotionally and psychologically comfortable. My idea will go to achieve that and if we can improve the general health conditions in schools especially the toilet facilities, this will help improve the learning capacity of both boys and girls.
Currently, educationists in Uganda are looking for answers as to why girls are dropping out of the free primary and secondary education provided by Government. This idea will work as solution to reduce dropout and absenteeism in upper primary and secondary. At the same time time, it will work as an incentive to keep the girl child in school by improving her hygiene. Poor health conditions and culture still play a big role in deterring the girl child to complete her education. Many schools have very poor sanitary facilties, some toilets are not even worth the name. In addition to this some parents still think that a girl's place is in the kitchen and this leads to early marriges so as soon as a girl informs parents that she has started her menses, to many this is a tip off that she is ripe for marriage and should be married off. If she persists then there is the social stigma and the peer pressure as by the time she reaches Senior 3 many of her village agemates are already wives and mothers. I think that the provision of sanitary kits should go hand in hand with improvement of health conditions in schools by provision of good toilets, menstrual hygiene education and a countrywide campaign that stresses that: "Beginning of menses doesn't mean end to education" We can code name the campaign thus: HAVE YOUR MENSES AND STILL GO TO SCHOOL. Beginning of menses doesn't mean you are ready for marriage.
What is your area of work? (Please check as many as apply.)
Children & Youth
, Behavioral issues
, Child care
, Girls' development
, Health & Fitness
, Health care
, Health education
, Mental health
, Indigenous cultures
, Vulnerable populations
, Women's issues
, Women's Issues
What impact have you had?
The idea is in its infant stages. I have started a school as a pilot study to see how the idea works but lack of funding has prevented takeoff.
Describe the primary problem(s) that your project is addressing.
The idea addresses the problem of dropout rates and absenteeism among girls of upper primary (Primary five to seven) and Secondary schools especially in rural Uganda. It also addresses the problem of poor hygiene among adolescent girls of 13-16 years who are in school. It addresses the fact that poor hygiene is one of the reasons affecting girl child education in Uganda.
Describe the steps that your organization is taking to make your project successful.
The project was meant for all schools under the Universal secondary education which is mainly attended by girls of poor parents in rural and urban Uganda. But due to lack of funds a school has been started this year as a pilot project so as to assess the successfulnes of the project.