In 2022, Dear Future Health started to provide hygienic supplies to Girls in Uganda; this project is operated in collaboration between Dear Future - US, Dear-Future- Chile, and Empathy Children Initiative in Uganda, Africa.
Henry Katinda, who leads Empathy Children, is a partner of Dear Future in the "End Period Poverty" Program. Empathy Children matches the donations Dear Future makes to the girls in the Mayuge district. It is important to note Henry saw the struggle teen girls were having each month. While menstruation is typically seen as a normal, biological process, it is often viewed as something that is kept private or even secret. Culturally, menstruation is thought of as an experience only for women, but boys and men should also know about it. Most males have or will have a sister, niece, wife or a daughter and it is important to have the basic knowledge that can help break down cultural and gender barriers between men and women.
In central Uganda, in the region of Wakiso, a woman named Namugga Mable Kitiibwa started the Namugga Mable Foundation. Her organization focuses on children’s health and education, falling right in line with Dear Future’s mission of making impacts in poverty stricken areas so children can have access to good health and education. Mable has been instrumental in helping by teaching classes to provide education on the basics of menstruation and helping girls take care of their bodies.
Check out our post on February 18th which describes in detail the serendipitous connections made to make our way to Uganda a success.
Now, let’s focus on the importance of providing hygienic supplies to school aged girls in Uganda. Why is it important? First, lack of hygienic supplies causes girls to miss at least one day of school most months. Uganda girls also experience embarrassment and fear related to managing menstruation at school. Girls not only lack supplies, but often do not have access to bathrooms with locking doors, soap and water, or the basic knowledge about their bodies. All of this often means a girl would rather stay home from school and risk falling behind. Uganda students are required to complete and pass exams to promote to the next grade. These exams occur quarterly and yearly. If this test is missed, there may not be another opportunity to test and the grade will have to be repeated. Repeating a grade is discouraging and the drop out rate between seventh and eighth grade is high.
Can you imagine all the hard work all year lost due to not being able to attend school on this important test day?
Secondly, girls determined to attend school may resort to unsanitary or potentially dangerous methods such as using dirty fabric, dirty sponges, cotton and even hay as sanitary supplies. These types of supplies can lead to infection and injury. All girls should have access to safe and sanitary supplies.
Dear Future recognized this problem and joined the mission to provide sanitary supplies to girls in Uganda. A thousand dollars provides supplies to roughly 500 girls for two months. It is Dear Future’s goal to increase funds and be able to provide supplies to 500 girls for longer periods of time. Providing sanitary supplies to girls increases wellbeing, education and gender equality.
This health project also empowers these young women to reach their full potential.
Help us reach our goal of expanding the length of time supplies can be provided to these deserving girls! A pack of 7 sanitary pads costs $ 0.98. No donation is too small and can make a big difference in the life of a young woman. Click here to donate “so not another day of school is missed”!