Pupils of Lwenyange Primary School, a Fields of Life supported school in Mubende district had the privilege of attending and presenting a poem on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) at the National MHM Day Celebrations in Uganda on 28th May, 2019.
For many of the pupils it was their first time in Kampala city and this was a very exciting moment for them.
“It was a very memorable moment, my pupils presented a poem about Menstruation before the Guest of Honour, Minister of Education, Hon. JC Muyingo. The confidence that they displayed enabled them to deliver their message on Menstrual Hygiene clearly to the government officials, NGOs and religious leaders.” Justine Namwanje, the Head Teacher of the school said.
The pupils also demonstrated how to make reusable sanitary pads to different stakeholders at the Fields of Life stall at the event.
Lweyange Primary School is one of the schools that have benefited from the I AM GIRL projects in Mubende district. Through the project, Fields of Life is working with several rural schools and communities to ensure young girls have the opportunity to participate fully in and complete their education.
Previously, girls in Lweyange Primary School faced a number of challenges related to poor Menstrual Hygiene Management. 70% of adolescent girls in this school believed that they could not share about their periods with boys or men because they thought menstruation was only a female issue and the majority of girls in the school experienced teasing and name calling from the boys.
“The biggest challenge the school has encountered in managing Menstrual Hygiene has been addressing the dangerous cultural myths that many girls believed. For instance, some girls believe that when a girl has her period she is not supposed to walk through a garden because it will bring misfortune and lead to bad yield. Such beliefs have led to stigmatization and this has greatly affected the esteem of many girls”. Justine said.
However, Justine is very happy about the positive impact the I AM GIRL project has had on the girls at the school. They have been trained with many new skills such as making Reusable Menstrual Pads (RUMPs), making liquid soap and the management of proper sanitation and hygiene. Furthermore, Lweyange Primary School currently has male teachers and boy pupils that are engaged in making sure that girls don’t miss school because of menstruation. Together they help to make affordable menstrual pads and share the message about proper Menstrual Hygiene Management in both the community and school.
“The I AM GIRL project has run for only seven months in our school but it has created a lot of change in the pupils. The training on how to make reusable sanitary pads, the information, the facilities and the materials we have received under this project have improved the way the pupils and teachers in the school and the surrounding community look at menstruation.” Justine said.
Justine believes if all children are given the opportunity, they can create a huge impact regardless of where they are from. “I want to thank Fields of Life for bringing the I AM GIRL Project to our school. Our girls and boys can freely talk about menstruation as something very normal and the community members are starting to change their attitudes about menstruation.”