Menstruation – Education changes everything

The theme of this year’s International Menstrual Hygiene Day (MHD) was education. The founders of MHD argue that education on menstrual hygiene changes everything. They call for improved information and menstrual hygiene education   for boys, men, teachers, health workers and other professionals so that they can break down negative social norms and provide accurate information and support.

They have argued for the inclusion of menstrual hygiene management as a critical component of reproductive health training for adolescents, building the capacity of teachers to teach about MHM with comfort, the breaking down of taboos around periods, the availability of water and sanitation facilities in schools and work places in order that women and girls have privacy and dignity as well as policies that reduce the cost of menstrual absorbents and are kind to the environment.

sanitary towels

We have spent the past year looking at access menstrual hygiene in schools in Ntungamo district SW Uganda . The program focuses on the provision of information on menstrual hygiene as well as ensuring that girls can access menstrual absorbents.

In the course of the year we learned that 53% of girls we spoke to did not know what a period is before they experienced it. 42% of the girls regularly miss between 2-5 days of school each month during their period because they do not have access to sanitary products.

We also learned that some amongst the girls use unsanitary products such as old rags, mattress stuffing etc. during their periods.

Syson- Team Leader MHM program

Education about menstrual hygiene should concern us all. As part of this year’s MHD activities in Ntungamo, we distributed free Menstrual Hygiene kits to women in the village of Rwentojo SW Uganda. We have been working with this group of women on income generation

Education on menstruation

This got me thinking about the role of business in the promotion of menstrual hygiene. For instance, how and where does business fit into the promotion of menstrual hygiene? Is it through their supply chains or perhaps in places of work? Is this even an issue that business concerns itself with?

Do employers for instance, provide flexible working conditions that enable women that suffer painful periods to take time off or work from home should they need to? What about access to female only washrooms?

These are things that we in the West might take for granted but what about elsewhere in the world? For instance, a study entitled Menstrual Hygiene Management-The experience of nomadic and sedentary populations in Niger  found that 55% of women in Niger miss work as a result of their period. You can read the full report  here .

In my opinion, that sort of statistic would have huge implications for a business’s bottom line because it would impact productivity and outputs.

Menstruation hygiene matters to business in other but perhaps subtle ways such as the availability of skilled workers. Businesses need skilled people to grow and thrive and this cannot be achieved if the education system is not producing the necessary skills or female employees miss workdays due to periods.

With respect to education, in countries such as Uganda, access to Primary School Education is free under the Universal Primary Education initiative, but gaps exist in addressing issues that prevent girls from dropping out of school and some of these reasons are to do with poor menstrual hygiene management in schools.

This includes the availability of water, toilets, washrooms and hygienic menstrual products. It is not enough to increase school registration for girls who then drop out due to a lack of menstrual hygiene management.

In the long run this has direct implications for a country’s economic development due to a large number of girls who become adults that are trapped in poverty due to a lack of skills which they can use to create their own employment or access employment elsewhere.

The founders of MHD have argued, that in order for countries to achieve Sustainable Development Goals 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 12, nation states must pay attention to menstrual hygiene management. This being the case; Governments, Civil Society as well as Business should take menstrual hygiene management seriously.

Our fight to enable women and girls to access information on menstruation and hygienic absorbents continues and you can be part of it by making a donation to our campaign at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/sanitarypads4girls

 

 

Menstrual Hygiene Day 2017

28 May 2017 is  Menstrual Hygiene Day  and we will be hosting a conversation about periods in conjunction with Ntungamo Municipality 

We bring together men and women, girls and boys as well as their politicians from the district of Ntungamo SW Uganda.

This year’s theme is Education.

We will explore the impact of Menstural hygiene on a girl’s education.

We will discuss the need to educate boys and men about periods in order to minimise the impact of social norms on women and girls

Our goal is to normalise the conversation about periods and continue the work we started last year. 

At this year’s event we would like to give out 1000 kits to school girls.  This would ensure that girls do not miss school days  because of a lack of access to menstrual absorbents.  We however cannot do this without your help  and you can make a difference for as a little as £1.

  • £1 provides a girl one pod that includes 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

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

 A Word from Syson- LTHT Menstrual Hygiene Ambassador 

 

You can also donate via PayPal



https://youtu.be/1neNW3flWYk

Jenn Dutton takes on the London Marathon for LTHT

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

Skills Development in Rural Uganda

I can’t believe it is June already.

Alex and the rest of the team have been busy at the Skills Development Centre in Ruhanga and this post is to provide you with an update

Feedback

Skills development in rural Uganda
Feedback Session

The Skills Development Centre draws participants from two local primary schools as well as a  secondary school.

During the first three months, participants were allocated a space in either the tailoring or the computing workshop.

At the end of the first three months, the workshop facilitators solicited views from the participants with a view to get a clearer understanding as to what it is they got out of the workshops as well as what could be improved in the second semester.

Alex and his team report general satisfaction with respect to delivery and knowledge gained from the workshops. 

Sewing Workshop

skills development in rural Uganda
Tailoring workshop

The sewing instructor guiding participants during sewing workshop.

This workshop attracts more participants than the Computing workshops. The main reason participants are attracted to this workshop is because most are unlikely  to progress to higher education. Tailoring skills provide them the best opportunity to earn an income once they drop out of  the formal education.

A tailor makes an average of 20,000 Ugandan Shillings or £4.27   a day in Uganda. In a country where some live on less than £1 a day this is a good wage

Skills development in rural Uganda
Tailoring workshops – Ruhanga

Menstrual Hygiene Day

Menstrual Hygiene day
Homemade sanitary towels

On Thursday 28 May 2015 the world celebrated the second Menstrual Hygiene Day. Through the Skills Development Initiative girls are taught how to make sanitary towels as part of our Menstrual Hygiene programme.  I will provide feedback on the impact of this particular programme on girls in due course

Support

We have made a lot of progress and with you help we can do a lot more. To donate to this initiative please visit our Virgin page

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

Menstrual Hygiene Day

28 May is Menstrual Hygiene Day and this is something we started to look at in Ruhanga after I got a letter from one of our girls Elina Agaba. Elina is amongst the 15 girls from Team College Ruhanga that are taking part in bike repair initiative. Read more

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