I visited a well on a campus in Uganda that was built by the partners I support with my fund raisers.I expected to hear that girl’s attendance was on the rise since they no longer had to miss school to walk miles to fetch water for their families.But I was sad to learn that girls over 11 were still dropping out.The reason shocked me. Alice, the principal of the school, said that a girl stops going to school when she gets her period.The lack of sanitary products, latrines, privacy and washing areas were to blame.I realized it was not enough to just bring clean water.
My partners on the ground in Uganda, Divine Waters, realized that too. So, they started a hygiene club after school where girls would get together and sew reusable pads.They made a cloth sheath from scraps.It had a cloth belt that buttoned to secure it around the undergarments.Inside was a layer of plastic and a layer of towel-like fabric.Alice had a big wooden box with dozens of these that the girls made in the club. The girls were very excited to show me what they made and not embarrassed at all. They were going home and showing their mothers and aunties how to make them too. Since there is no money for a proper latrine, a tippy tap and a tent was set-aside on campus for the girls.And…teen girl’s attendance is finally on the rise!
There is NO access or funds for disposable sanitary products. Its totally unrealistic. So, this is a simple, sustainable solution has become an effective part of my partner’s outreach program.My Back to School Fund-Matching Campaign will help fund sanitation education, like the one I visited in Uganda.I reached my goal of $20,000.00 and this money will help me dig deeper than a well! THANK YOU for supporting it. Water is just the beginning.It is important to ask “what’s next!”Alice and her students helped me see the next step that is needed to empower these girls to lift themselves out of poverty.