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Update from Action for Sustainable Development on the Girls Sanitary Pad project at Kaweche Primary School

ASUD LOGO

Action for Sustainable Development 

P.O. Box 91, Mzuzu, Malawi

Tel: (+265) 997612054/ 888 389 619

Email: actionsustainable@gmail.com

Website: www.asudmalawi.org

 

 

PROGRESS REPORT PRESENTED TO FRIENDS OF MALAWI

1. PROJECT TITLE

Keeping girls in school through menstrual health education at Kaweche Primary School. 

2. PROJECT GOAL

To increase access to menstrual hygiene information and sanitary materials among adolescent girls

3. PROJECT SUMMARY

In May 2021, ASUD team visited adolescent girls at Kaweche Primary School to interact with the girls and hear out their issues which are affecting their education. We discussed menstrual hygiene practices recommended to follow and sanitary materials to use. We also motivated them to focus on their studies and work hard in their education to be self reliant in future. However they expressed concern that they face challenges in accessing sanitary materials to use during menstruation and they do not attend classes. 

After being awarded a grant from Friends of Malawi, in July 2021, we have been able to train adolescent girls at the school how to make reusable sanitary pads. This was a very important development because most girls fail to attend classes during monthly period and this affects their school performance. 

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, only 40 girls were allowed to attend the training. They were grouped into 6 groups of 6-7 people with one trainer on each group. The girls learned how to measure and cut the materials needed to saw the pads by hand. Some sewing skills learned included loop, hemming, tucking and running stitch. 

The mother groups committee, teacher’s representatives and ASUD team agreed that 80 sanitary pads should be sewn to distribute to the girls after the training so that their number of pads should be increased.

Our next plan is to engage the remaining students who were not trained during their holidays (16th August-27th August). We will also be able to procure additional resources used for making sanitary pads.

  • PROJECT WORK PLAN

First Phase

  1. After reception of the funds on 12th July 2021, the project team had a meeting with the young mothers on how the first phase of the project will be conducted.
  2. The project was introduced to the District Educational Manager (DEM) and to the school by the project team (Ms Chifundo Chiumia, Mr. Yoram Ngwira and Ms Margaret Phiri). We worked on the project budget and how the money will be spent.
  3. Together with the school mother group committee, the materials needed for the project were procured. 
  4. Tiyanjane Young mothers tailoring group was hired to sew 80 sanitary pads that were distributed to 40 adolescent girls and train the girls and mothers group committee in sewing the pads at the school.
  5. The first phase start up project materials was left in the responsibility of the mother group committee to finish sewing pads with the girls and also train the remaining girls.
  6. Submit progress report to Friends of Malawi.

Second phase

  1. The girls club will be visited to see the progress they have made on the training and to share additional materials for sewing the pads on their own.
  2. Purchase buckets and soap to be used in the girls changing room at the school.
  3. Project final report will be submitted to Friends of Malawi.

5. PROJECT BUDGET

The first phase amount was $585 (MK469, 200) and second phase expected money is $315

6. PROJECT CHALLENGES ENCOUNTERED

  1. Funds were received at a time that the school was about to close. This meant that we were given only a day to conduct your project and enable the students to go back to their books. This also meant that standard 8 students were not allowed to attend the training as they were in preparation of mock examinations.
  2. Another problem was that most of the students lacked basic knowledge on sewing. As a result, we had to teach them these basics which also contributed to time consumption.
  3. Lastly, we were faced with COVID-19 restrictions placed by the government and hence only 40 students were allowed in the training. 

7. PROJECT RESULTS

Despite the various limitations caused by time and the COVID-19 pandemic, the first phase of the project was a success. This is because the project team was able to train 40 girls the basics of sewing and the girls were able to apply these skills into sewing their own sanitary pads. The presence of the mother groups ensured sustainability of the project as they were empowered to train the remaining girls and polishing them up. 

8. PROJECT RECOMMENDATIONS

There is need to visit the school during the term to check on the girls progress in terms of hygiene and reduced level of absenteeism. These visits will also focus on the girl’s improvement in sewing reusable pads.

  • PICTURES OF THE PROJECT

SUBMITTED BY:

Miss Chifundo Chiumia (Programs Manager)