International Day of the Girl Child

11 October is International Day of the  Girl Child.. One of the reason we exist is to ensure that girls are not disadvantaged socially and economically because of their gender. Whilst I am happy to celebrate the Girl Child, I really wish we didn’t need days like this.

The reason for this is articulated by the UN

The world’s 1.1 billion girls are part of a large and vibrant global generation poised to take on the future. Yet the ambition for gender equality in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) highlights the preponderance of disadvantage and discrimination borne by girls everywhere on a daily basis. Only through explicit focus on collecting and analyzing girl-focused, girl-relevant and sex-disaggregated data, and using these data to inform key policy and program decisions, can we adequately measure and understand the opportunities and challenges girls face, and identify and track progress towards solutions to their most pressing problems…..

sewing class
Girls from our sewing class showing off the skirts they made as part of their homework

We have been doing some work with adolescent girls in Itojo district SW Uganda. These girls are not in employment, education or training , the so called NEETS   and form part the 14 Million young people in Uganda that are without a job due to lack of skills. The life outcomes for such girls are well documented but it doesn’t have to be that way.

We have shared with you the outcome of our Skills Development program for these girls and they have been learning about fashion design and the results are amazing

From left to right: Ovious, Evas and Evelyne.

As part their training, the girls are provided with fabric to experiment and design something. At the end of  the first semester the girls were able to design a full outfit. As you can see from the photograph above they are now proficient in dress making.

Our aim with this program is to ensure that girls acquire skills they can use to either create their own employment or seek employment elsewhere.

We would like to offer this opportunity to many more such girls in Itojo Sub-county. You can support our efforts by making a donation to our fundraising at

Menstrual Hygiene Management and the Girl Child

Access to hygienic menstrual absorbents has implications for the Girl child such as missing 2.6 days of school each month in the short term but in the long run this absenteeism may and does lead to girls dropping out of school altogether.

Our work on Menstrual Hygiene Management  in secondary schools in Ntungamo District in Uganda indicates that we have a long way to go to change outcomes for the Girl Child

NtungamoOn average:

  • 53% of the girls didn’t know what menstruation was before they experienced it
  • 61% of the girls have felt ashamed or embarrassed due to their periods
  • 42% of the girls miss days of school during their periods because they don’t have access to sanitary products
  • They miss 2.6 days of school a month which impacts negatively in their performance.
    Students change their sanitary products every 9 hours.


Our team looked into how girls in Ntungamo secondary schools manage their periods and how they access to menstrual hygiene absorbents, and these are their findings;

  • 48% of the students feel bad or very bad during their MPs
  • 73% of the students use reusable pads but on average they change them every 9 hours which is not hygienic or healthy
  • 13% of the students use reusable sanitary pads at school and a cloth at home
  • 9.1% of the students use a cloth
  • 4.4% of the students use leaves, mattress stuffing, toilet paper or nothing at all

It is 2016 and the fact that this is still the situation in some of the schools means that we will need days like for sometime to come. But it does not have to be this way if we work together.

Help us make a difference by supporting our MHM work for as a little as £1.

  • £1 provides a girl one pod that include a napkin and a holder
  • £5 provides a girl a full kit
  • £10 provides two full kits
  • £20 provides 4 full kits

The pod and kits last for three years making this a cost effective way of managing periods. Please donate to our Sanitary Pads 4 Girls program today via our Virgin Money page

Skills Development Initiative : Tailoring

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

International Day of the Girl: Agnes

Today is International Day of the Girl, it is therefore an ideal time to bring you an update on how the girls at Team College Ruhanga SW Uganda are getting on at the bike repair initiative.

Agnes s1
Agnes- Senior One Team College SW Uganda


Agnes is new at Team College and sent us this letter

I would like to express my gratitude to you and every one who donated the bicycle repairing kits and in particular your good friend Sally. Thanks for your support towards enabling us reach where we are now.

We are making a positive difference in our lives. Bicycles are now at the heart of our empowerment. We are excited as we can now ride and repair them. Having been walking a long distance to school daily. I am now able to ride to and from school on my own

We are grateful for all the help we are getting. Please accept our heart felt thanks for your concern and generosity.
Agnes S1


We asked George – Head Teacher at Team College to tell us about the initiative, its impact in the community as well as about the 15 girls who are currently participating in the scheme and this is what he had to say

Girls training as bicycle mechanics and riders is a new territory and very exciting in this community.

  • The 15 girls have got stories to tell and are reporting that the initiative is making a positive difference in their lives in as far as their education, health and income are concerned,
  • Their parents were so excited to see their daughters increased confidence and their ability to ride bicycles.
  •  As well as their academic achievements the girls  now have a life skill which they have gained in bicycle ridding and repairing.
  • Five  of the girls namely Scovia, Hope, Agnes, Shallot and Grace now ride to and from school. They previously walked  for 4 KM each way . We have also notice an improvement in their academic work
  •  Four  of the girls are still walking  to and from school as they do not own bikes yet.
  •  Six  of the girls that board at the school have started earning an income from their skills during the school holidays as well as at teh end of the school day and have been able to supplement their parent’s income, buy scholastic  materials most importantly access sanitary pads, lotions and underwear etc as opposed to relying on pocket money from parents  which was always not enough.
  • As a result 10 women from the community have also joined the initiative to learn how to ride and repair bikes, so we  need  a permanent working station. The village mainly depends on agriculture  and bikes are the main form of transport to get produce to market.


Naturally all this has been achieved with your support and for that we are grateful. We would like to formalise this initiative and would be grateful if you would please consider making a donation to help us along

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