Menstrual Hygiene Management program is launched

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The aim of our Menstrual Hygiene Management program is to ensure that girls and women manage their monthly period in a hygienic way. This involves ensuring that girls and women have access to information about menstruation as well as access to clean and safe menstrual absorbents.

 

Menstrual Hygiene
Letricia, Maria, Agnes and Allen setting off for Kampala

Following the set up of the sewing room in Ruhanga our menstrual hygiene ambassadors set off for Kampala for a  two week residential course

menstrual hygiene management
Gerald Karuhanga, MP for Ntungamo Municipality and Ida Horner, LTHT Chairperson discussing with Diana Nampeera, Days for Girls country director the effectiveness of the washable sanitary pads]

I arrived in Kampala two weeks later  just in time for their graduation.

Menstrual hygiene
Agnes receives her certificate from MP Gerald Karuhanga

Our 17 year old Agnes was top of the class.

menstruation day
Graduation day

The graduation was also attended by Gerald Karuhanga MP for Ntungamo district  where our ambassadors hail from. In his speech,  Karuhanga said that menstrual hygiene  is an issue that is very close to his heart and promised to prioritise it during his 5 year term as an MP. He further promised to lobby government to remove import duty on fabrics used to make sanitary towels

International Menstruation Day

Menstrual Hygiene
Menstrual Hygiene Day launch

May 28 was  Intenational Menstrual Hygiene Day and official launch our Menstrual Hygiene program across  Ntungamo District. The event was attended by at least 160 including officers from the district as well as the municipality.

Menstrual Hygiene Day
Mp Gerald Karuhanga launches LTHT’s Menstrual Hygiene program

The initiative was launched by Karuhanga MP for Ntungamo who promised to work with LTHT to ensure the success of the program across the district

Menstrual Hgyiene
Student from TEAM College shares her experience

 

In February this year thirty nine girls from TEAM College received free sanitary packs as part of our trial.  We heard from the girls and their Head Teacher on 28 May.  They told us the pads had changed their lives whilst their Head Teacher reported reduced absenteeism.

May 28 Menstruation day
Graduation Day

We heard about the Menstrual Hygiene Ambassadors’ experience at the residential course in Kampala, which included participants from Kenya and Ghana and they too shared their experiences. We heard about gruesome practices such as girls being sewn up during their periods, not being allowed to milk cows and digging holes in the ground and using these as a means for managing periods etc

Where are the men in the conversation

 

Menstruation matters
Men at launch day

As the event progressed it transpired that, hotel security  were excluding men from the event on the assumption that this was a women only event. One of the men took exception to this and complained to us. He said

we are the ones that make decisions in the home and you are excluding us  from the  meeting

He had a point. A point that to goes to explain why in 2016 we still need an International  Menstrual Hygiene Day. The fight for access to Menstrual Hygiene and sanitation should include men. We learned from our research that some of fathers believe that spending money on Menstrual Hygiene Management is a waste of money and that boys have a tendency to embarrass and shame girls during their periods

The Hard Work begins here

Allen and Agnes working on sanitary pad kits
Allen and Agnes working on sanitary pad kits

Now that the training is out of the way, work on producing sanitary towel kits for sell has started. And here are some of the completed products. I hope you are agree with me, when I say, they have done a fab job.

Menstrual hygiene
Finished wings

Can you help?

We have come a long way with this project and have set ourselves an ambitious goal of ensuring that every girl and woman in Ntungamo district can access sanitary pads at a reasonable cost.

Please consider supporting our efforts by making  a donation via our VIRGIN PAGE

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/sanitarypads4girls

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Managing Menstrual Hygiene in Ruhanga- setting up the sewing room

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Menstruation is a normal biological process and a key sign of reproductive health, yet in many cultures it is treated as something negative, shameful or dirty. The continued silence around menstruation combined with limited access to information at home and in schools results in millions of women and girls having very little knowledge about what is happening to their bodies when they menstruate and how to deal with it (source: developmentbookshelf.com)

This statement is true of girls in Ruhanga. We are working to change this and our journey starts here.

Menstrual Hygiene Management
The sewing room

This is our new sewing room that will serve as a training room as well as centre of operations.

Menstrual Hygiene Management

The local machinist tweaks the sewing machines before the girls are let loose on them. This type of a machine is known as a locker and here the machinist sets it up to ensure that it works and that it is threaded correctly.

 

Menstrual Hygiene Management
Waiting for interviews

With the sewing room set up, an advert went out to invite girls not in education or employment to attend an assessment day.

From left to right: Allen, Marion and Apophia -
From left to right: Allen, Marion and Apophia –

These are three of teenage girls that were selected to become ambassadors of our menstrual hygiene program. They will be put through an intensive training program including a a two week residential course in Kampala.

 

With no time to waste, work got under way and here the girls are practising their sanitary pads making skills
Menstrual Hygiene Management

Agnes cutting out pattens

 

Menstrual Hygiene Management
Letricia and Agnes

Team work- Letricia and Agnes threading the finishing machine

 

Menstrual Hygiene Management
Letricia

Letricia was a late addition to the team. She has caught up. This is the first liner she made independently.

 

Finance lesson

As well learning how to make sanitary pads, the girls are learning about managing money. These skills will be essential to the sustainability of the project. More about this in future posts

Jenn Dutton
Jenn Dutton

This journey has been made possible by Jenn who run the London Marathon in aid of Menstrual Hygiene Management. The money she raised has gone towards the setting up of the sewing room.  Jenn completed the London Marathon in 5 Hours 6 minutes. You can still contribute to Jenn’s campaign  at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JenniferDutton1

 

Menstrual Hygiene Management
Greetings to Jenn

 

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Jenn Dutton takes on the London Marathon for LTHT

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London Marathon
Jenn Dutton

My name is Jenn Dutton.  I am 23 years old and a full time nanny. I love to cook, bake and travel. On April 24th 2016, I will  be racing in one of the great British sporting events, the Virgin Money London Marathon  on behalf of LTHT.  The London Marathon is a gruelling 26 miles 385 yards long, passing through the streets of London from Blackheath to the famous finish line at The Mall.

Why am I doing the London Marathon?

I love to set myself challenges and believe that you must always push yourself and try new things. I really enjoy running and exploring new places with it.

I truly believe that LTHT is a fantastic charity and I would like to support the work that they do around Menstrual Hygiene for rural girls in Uganda . 

Rural girls in Uganda miss several days of school per year due to lack of sanitary towels. This, in turn, leads to many girls school results suffering and some girls even dropping out of school as a result. 

But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can make a difference to such girls if we work together

I like the unique ways in which LTHT works to improve the daily lives and futures of the women in Ruhanga . This inspires me greatly to train my hardest and give the marathon my all.

I hope to raise a lot of money for this small charity so they can help the people of Ruhanga to help themselves.

Please support me by making a donation at

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JenniferDutton1

Every little helps

https://www.myfundraisingfilm.com/view/080c5507-2893-4941-9786-94ac7e34df95?utm_source=RenderComplete&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=myfundraisingfilm

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Skills Development Initiative : Tailoring

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It has been widely accepted within the Post 2015 discourse that to impact poverty in future, it will be necessary to create conditions that can provide capabilities and an enabling environment that will ensure that people can take charge of their lives and lift themselves out of poverty. Read more

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Tailoring

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It has been widely accepted within the Post 2015 discourse that to impact poverty in future, it will be necessary to create conditions that can provide capabilities and an enabling environment that will ensure that people can take charge of their lives and lift themselves out of poverty.

The young people from Itojo Sub County suffer from under employed mainly due to lack of skills. Through the Skills Development Initiative, we seek to address the issue of worklessness and poverty amongst the youth by ensuring that they acquire marketable and transferable skills to enable them to have an equitable chance of accessing work and/or creating their own employment opportunities in the local economy.

In the last post, I provided you with an update on our Introduction to Computing for rural communities workshops. This post is about the tailoring workshops.

 

Access to Jobs- Uganda
Skills Development Initiative- Ruhanga SW Uganda

The initial take up of the tailoring workshops has been low with only four boys and eight girls choosing this workshop.

But according to Alex this picture is deceiving as end of term feedback has indicated that in fact many of those taking part in the computing workshops would rather be in the tailoring workshop. This will be addressed after the Easter break  and in consultation with participants.

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As part of our sanitation program, we have been very keen to improve menstrual hygiene amongst teenage girls in Ruhanga and one of the products from the first tailoring workshops is handmade sanitary towels.

Skills Development Initiative- Tailoring- Uganda
Skills Development Initiative- Tailoring

A key aspect of the workshop has been ensuring that participants can cut fabric and operate a sewing machine

opportunities for girls- Uganda
Daphine in  a Tailoring workshop

Her Why

Komujuni Daphine, is 14 years and about to leave Primary School. She is interested in acquiring tailoring skills because as someone from a poor background, she is unlikely to continue in formal education. This is because her parents would not afford the fees.  She hopes that, the tailoring skills gained through this initiative would help her start her own business or access work somewhere else.

Daphine’s reasons for being part of the tailoring workshops sum up reasons why initiatives such as this are needed. What hope is their for rural girls such as Daphine whose parents can’t afford to pay for further education?

The community-based centre where the tailoring workshops are  delivered is now in need of expansion to meet demand and, as such, we now require a further classroom to ensure the girls such as Daphine have the necessary access to the training and equipment they require.

To support our work please make a donation at

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/skills4girls

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Lunch boxes for patients and staff in ebola treatment centres

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A few months ago we teamed up with Memuna and Sadia of the  Lunchboxgift initiative to fight ebola in Sierra Leone. The initiative was born out of the Ebola epidemic in the Western part of Africa.  Ebola has turned the lives of many upside down  to the extent that some can’t access a cooked meal let alone a nutritious one.  Read more

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The construction of a toilet for girls

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Dear friends

A big thank you to those that attended our fundraising event and or donated to  the sanitation matters to girls campaign. Access to a toilet is something that most take for granted but 2.5 billion  people  worldwide do not have access to a toilet  so we are grateful for your support with this project  Read more

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