PALLISA – Over 1,000 pupils of Agule Sub County in Pallisa District are excited after they received free reusable sanitary pads for their use to keep in school.
The sanitary pads worth UGX21m were distributed by Mooncatcher project, a US-based Non-Government Organization in partnership with Woman of Purpose.
Explaining why they had to come to the aid of the girl child, Ms. Agnes Fibe Kanabi, the country director, Mooncatcher said menstruation and lack of basic needs, are some of the challenges that were forcing them out of school.
During the celebration of the international menstrual day on Tuesday at the sub-county, Ms. Kanabi explained that the prime objective of the program is to change the lives of girls through menstrual management in order to keep the children in schools.
“There are thousands of reasons that are behind the schoolgirl drop out and among them is early marriage, lack of basic needs like sanitary pads. This is the logic behind to partner with a woman of purpose to provide sanitary pads in order to keep these girls in schools by removing some of these barriers for girls,” Ms. Kanabi said
Adding: “These girls need to feel comfortable while at school because previously, there was a tendency of boys laughing at girls while in their menstrual periods and this factored to high school dropouts. We need to change that attitude. Boys should be the ambassadors to teach others that going into periods is healthy,”.
She, however, challenged teachers to take the lead in urging boys to understand the situation of girls than being barriers to their education.
This she said the teachers should encourage pupils to write essays related to menstruation so that they understand.
The girls were also trained in hygiene, use of sanitary pads as well as discipline. More than 1,400 pupils and students received packets of pads courtesy of Mooncatcher project.
President Museveni during his 2016 campaign trail across the country, made a pronouncement to the effect that government will provide sanitary pads to school going girl child in all schools but in vain.
The unfulfilled promise saw Dr Stella Nyanzi, a then a Makerere University fellow, attack the First Lady, a move that landed in courts of law.