It can be a stressful and often embarrassing time for any girl starting their period. But for girls living in Malawi, the challenge is heightened by a simple lack of sanitary products and washing facilities.
Malawi is one of the world’s poorest countries, and many schools there are unable to afford to provide access to basic sanitary products and changing facilities that we in richer countries take for granted, meaning many girls miss school and other daily activities during their monthly menstruation.
As a result, girls are estimated to receive 25% less education than boys in Malawi, and may miss their end of year exams, which impacts their ability to progress through to further education as they get older, or forces them to drop out of the education system entirely.
How can you help?
We have partnered with the Umodzi Youth Organisation (UYO) to help empower and transform the lives of 700 girls in Kapeni (Blantyre, Malawi) by providing the infrastructure and support needed to keep these girls in education.
£5,000 is needed urgently from this crowdfunding campaign. By making a pledge today you can help provide a safe and private space for girls to change, access sustainable sanitary pads, and train local women to provide long term skills and resources for the community that will continue to support this project for years to come.
You money will fund the:
- Construction of two new changing rooms, each with three private cubicles
- Purchase of four sewing machines and materials needed to produce sanitary pads
- Training of local women in production of reusable sanitary pads and school uniforms
- Ongoing education and training to girls and women to empower them in advocacy, their rights, conservation, and reproductive health
- Training of local women in small scale business management, providing them the skills to improve their income and support their families
Our aims are to increase girls’ enrolment in Ntenjera Primary School, and by supporting girls throughout their education in this way, enable them to complete their education.
This project with the UYO will aim to tackle this barrier to female education in rural Malawi. Over 24 months, UYO will work in collaboration with local community-based organisations in the construction of the two changing rooms at the Ntenjera Primary School. The changing rooms will be built from locally sourced materials and will provide the girls with privacy and dignity.
By funding the purchase of sewing machines, which will be used for making reusable sanitary pads, members of the mothers’ groups will be trained by women tailors on how to sew the reusable sanitary pads, which are to be made from locally available resources.
The project will also promote girls’ rights to education by providing menstruation management lessons given by trained members of mothers’ groups and female teachers. We aim to equip the girls with the skills and knowledge they need to protect their reproductive health.
In addition to these practical steps to reduce the barriers to education, the project seeks to tackle the economic factors that may lead to girls dropping out of school early. Fifty mothers will benefit from self-help small scale business training which will improve household incomes to enable them to keep their children in school.
Think Malawi and UYO are working together to implement this project. Think Malawi minimise administration costs through the volunteer work done by the charity trustees and supporters in this country. UYO is a youth-led organisation based in Malawi committed to promoting the rights of women, fighting against gender-based violence and advancing girls’ education. The UYO is registered as a non-governmental organisation with the Malawi Government under the Trustees.
Think Malawi have contributed £1,000 from reserves to get this project started. In addition, the school and community in Malawi is also contributing around £3,500 worth of labour and materials to the project.
They pledges shown on this page are examples of what the money could be spent on. Funds from pledges may go towards other elements of the project as we and UYO see fit.