Name of the activity: Pad A Girl Project
Country/NMO: SLEMSA Sierra Leone
Program: Maternal Health and Access to Safe Abortion
Contact information: contact [email protected] to get in touch with the Activity Coordinator
Type of the activity: Continuous Activity
Focus area: Menstrual Hygiene Management
Sustainable Development Goals addressed: SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), SDG 4 (Quality Education)
The Pad A Girl Project’s mission is to increase outreach to disabled girls and school going girls in under-served areas; break the silence and debunk the myths and misconceptions surrounding menstruation; as well as to equip the adolescents with the necessary tools to understand and manage menstruation safely. This is due to the challenges faced with accessibility, use and disposal of sanitary towels .
According to Unesco, millions of girls in Sub-Sahara countries, including Sierra Leone, miss up to 20% of school because they do not have access to feminine hygiene products. Poverty and cultural stigma around menstruation are the main reasons for the difficulty of obtaining and using these products: most girls feel shame and fear during their periods, so they prefer to not go to school.
The mission of the project is to increase outreach to disabled girls and school going girls to talk to them
- Other Students
- People with disabilities
- General population
- Other Students
- People with disabilities
- To break the silence on menstruation by sensitizing the disabled girls and school going girls on menstruation and debunking the taboos, myths and misconceptions associated with menstruation.
- To increase the proportion of young girls who are engaging in sustainable, environmental friendly and proper menstruation hygiene management through the use of safe, hygienic and reusable sanitary pads
- To improve access to reusable and non reusable sanitary pads through donations and to distribute information booklets on menstruation and menstrual hygiene management to the beneficiaries and other stakeholders during the project duration
- To improve rates of readmission and retention of adolescents of school going age in selected schools
- To increase the self-esteem of adolescent girls on menstrual matters through open discussions and focused empowerment
- Whiles testing their knowledge on the said topic , we noticed alot of misinformation. after the session the girls can now boldly debunk false informations concerning menstrual habits.
2.With most of the girls using pieces of clothes during their menstrual period, we provided reusable sanitary pads for them, educated them on it’s proper use.
3.During the campaign we created a supply channels between the beneficiaries and some manufacturers of sanitary pads in the country, making it easier for them to access good sanitary products at a discounted price.
4.instead of allowing menstruating girls to stay home, some of the school heads have provide a special room in the school premises where they can comfortably address their menstrual issues.
5.we noted before we engaged these girls is that they feel so uncomfortable to express themselves on their menstrual habits but after having a session with them they even joined us to reach out to near by schools during the campaign. “
This project was designed to be carried out between October 2022 and February 2023.
the project is being carried out by 20 volunteers who are all Medical Students. which I divided into 4 teams of 5 and appointed a team lead.
The resources used were posters and menstrual kits. we engaged alot of partners but only few agreed to work with us, and they are a well known producer of sanitary pads in the country.
Embarking on an activity like this attracts some minor risks of which we identified on time and addressed it. some of the communities we selected for this activity are solemnly dependent on their cultural beliefs, so we paid a courtesy visit to the leaders of those communities and explained to them the importance of the activity we are about to embark on, we created communication channels to enable school going girls have access to sanitary pads and always feel comfortable to reachout for clarification on matters surrounding menstrual hygiene.”
Plans for evaluation:
We evaluate by creating questioners that will be circulated amongst the girls to test their knowledge on menstrual hygiene management.
Organize workshops where we give them the opportunity to showcase their knowledge on menstrual hygiene. we ask them questions to know how best they understand menstrual hygiene management.
We can also decide to give them tasks that will motivate them to seek more knowledge on menstrual habits.””
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