Helping girls attend school

Menstruation in Africa

It is a fact that in Africa, a girl who is just starting her periods will miss 25% of education for a reason that defies logic and understanding in the UK.  When the girl starts menstruating, there are no sanitary products available, anywhere.  The parents will not discuss this topic under any circumstances and not only is the girl terrified in the early days, she will hide in their hut, through shame, until it is over. 

A fantastic initiative has been launched by the children at one of our high schools in Uganda.  Menstruation awareness lessons have been introduced to the entire school, led by teenage boys who educate not just the girls, but all of the boys as well.  Working with an NGO called Afro Pad, the girls have all been provided with washable sanitary kits, presented to them in backpacks which they very proudly carry.  This has increased attendance at school by 25%, and the high school girls from the village are now visiting primary schools in the region to educate other children about this topic.

In Uganda, for every 10 boys, only 8 girls are enrolled in secondary education but in Costa Foundation funded schools, 51% of pupils are girls.  Educate a girl, and you educate the nation.

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