Over 300 girls in Busoga equipped with menstrual hygiene skills and tools

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Reach A Hand Uganda (RAHU), in collaboration with partners, celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day with a special outreach event on 28th May, 2024 at Budondo Playground in Jinja. The event aimed to address menstrual health challenges and empower young girls with the knowledge and tools to manage their menstruation with dignity.

The event saw participation from several schools, including Trinity College, Buyaba Primary School, Jinja Tree Nursery and Primary, St. Stephens Secondary School Budondo, East Secondary School, Buwagi Primary School, Budondo Primary School, Kyomya Primary School, and King of Kings Secondary School. 

The event was officially opened by the local women’s leader Mama Irene (Nnabakyala), who emphasized the importance of menstrual hygiene and the role of the community in supporting young girls. A range of health and medical services were offered, including immunisation, family planning, and HIV testing. 

The Chairman LC 1Mukutalu Mayanja addressed the alarming news story about girls in Budondo resorting to unsafe practices due to the lack of menstrual hygiene products. He stressed the need for continued support and awareness to prevent such occurrences.

Benson Muhindo, Head of Programs at RAHU, engaged the audience by debunking common myths surrounding menstruation. These included beliefs such as not climbing trees, avoiding gardens to prevent wilting produce, abstaining from jumping games, swimming, and not carrying babies during menstruation. 

Head of Programs at RAHU Benson Muhindo engaging with the attendees to deflate the various myths and misconceptions around menstruation.

ASP Alex Kyankaga, OC Budondo, spoke on domestic violence and early marriages, urging RAHU to extend their efforts in tackling these issues. He also encouraged the ongoing distribution of sanitary products to the community and advised young girls to avoid early marriages and criminal activities.

Ruth Nasseje from Kiira Motors, the mobility partner, expressed pride in supporting the event, particularly in Jinja, where their plant is located. She emphasized the potential for everyone to succeed with the right opportunities. 

Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) representative, Ritah Kabasomi highlighted the importance of having accurate information about reproductive health and understanding one’s body. She stressed the need for including boys in discussions to break the stigma around menstruation.

A representative from Kyetume Community-Based Health Care Programme expressed their dedication to supporting young people, especially in districts outside Kampala. They encouraged open discussions on menstruation as a universal issue and expressed readiness to engage in SRHR conversations. 

As the day neared climax, Halima, a pupil from Jinja Tree Primary School wowed the crowd with her presentation of key outcomes from the outreach, including how girls were equipped with skills to make reusable sanitary pads. 

Namukobe Jane, area councillor of Namizi ward in Jinja Northern Division, along with women’s leader Madam Irene, discussed the severe cases of girls using soil due to lack of sanitary products and acknowledged the progress made through the outreach.

Namukobe Jane, the councillor of Namizi ward, where Budondo falls, giving her remarks, alongside with women’s leader (Nnabakyala) Madam Irene.

As a key partner, SafePad Uganda distributed packs of reusable pads, each containing four pads, to numerous girls, providing a sustainable solution to menstrual hygiene.

Capped off with a sports session where the girls played netball and dodgeball, the event was a resounding success, raising awareness about menstrual health and hygiene, tackling harmful myths, which resonates with RAHU’s commitment to end period poverty and encourage young people to be innovative about the issues that affect them.

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