WoMena Uganda in partnership with Buikwe District Local Government and the Icelandic Embassy is implementing Menstrual Health Component for Primary Schools Project in 21 primary schools in Buikwe fishing Communities for one year. This intervention is a continuation of the previous phase implemented in 28 Primary Schools in Buikwe. It is aimed at improving the Education Levels and well being of School girls through Improved Menstrual Health and Management in Buikwe Fishing Communities.
The project targets 1200 school girls in Primary six and seven and those with 12 years and above in lower classes as the primary beneficiaries and 1100 school boys. These will receive a comprehensive MHM training with topics tailored for both boys and girls, the girls will also receive an MHM kit consisting of a pair of knickers, a menstrual cup, a pack of AFRIpads, and a metallic container for boiling the cup.
The Project’s main activities include;
• Inception/Stakeholders meeting
• Exploration and facility assessment
• Community/Parents meeting
• Baseline Data collection
• Training of Trainers
• Training of Beneficiaries and distribution of Products
• End-line data collection
So far, WoMena has successfully completed most of the activities including; Stakeholders’ meeting, Exploration and facility assessment, Community/ parents meetings, Base-line data collection and Training of Trainers.
In September WoMena had a very successful one day Stakeholders ‘meeting with a total of 48 participants with representation from; Chairman LC5, District Education Officer DEO, Senior Education Officer SEO, District Inspector of Schools, From the religious community, the Chairperson Education Board Mukono Diocese, Head Teachers from schools of the first project and the second and, Chairpersons School management Committee, a satisfied user of the menstrual cup from one of the intervention schools and other District officials at Buikwe District. The stakeholders were very receptive and positive about the intervention and pledged to offer all the necessary support because they are aware of the challenges menstruation pose on the school going girls including; absenteeism, school dropout, teenage pregnancies among others due to lack of menstrual management products.
In November, the WoMena team concluded a community sensitizations meeting with parents from the 21 Primary school here emphasis were on MHM Menstrual cup and the AFRIpads use and care. Among the communications made during the meeting was the how WoMena will implement the project and the project will benefit the girls and the community at large.
In total 628 parents were reached and these included 476 women and 152 men, 537 consented for their daughters to participate in the project. Numerous questions and concerns were raised about the project and the menstrual cup which the team fully addressed. Parent acknowledged and accepted the project and requested to receive a cup for their personal use, or access them on market at subsidized price through WoMena, for them to use, and purchase for their wives and daughters that will not benefit from the project.
The most recent activity was the 3 day Training of Trainers from 10th to 12th December where 124 ToTs were trained including senior men and women teachers from the 21 schools, Parents representatives, Local/religious/cultural leaders, and Government Officials and Political leaders. These were awarded certificates and also received a training handbook, a T-shirt, a menstrual cup and a packet of AFRIpads each for them to try before we give to the girls. This is to ensure that even after the Project, the girls can be supported while in school and in the communities they come from by the ToTs who have tried the products themselves. The next activity will be the Training of Beneficiaries in January.