Kasese, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Over 200 teenage girls leaving in Internally Displaced Persons’ camps in Kasese District have acquired skills in making handmade reusable sanitary pads.
The week long training commenced with training participants on their rights.
The training was organized by a group of teenagers under their group “The Young Angel’s Network-Uganda-YANU” held at Kanyangeya Church of Uganda.
The members mobilize resources from their own parents, relatives and well-wishers to support their fellow underprivileged girls especially in rural areas.
Lilian Ahakundire one of the brains behind the group told URN that they intended to promote menstrual hygiene among teenage girls affected by the floods given the financial restraints their families face.
She said the trainees acquired skills to make their own pads from resources within their reach. The trainees are expected to extend these skills to other young girls within their communities and schools, according to Ahakundire.
Daniel Kankunda the group team leader told URN that the availability of sanitary materials will help in the fight against stigma that many young girls both in camps and schools are facing. She added that the trainees have been provided with free sanitary making resources.
Surprise Namatovu one of the girls staying at Kanyengeya IDP camp says that due to lack of basic items many young girls in the camp are exposed to men who promise to provide for them. But with skills attained, Namatovu is hopeful that would soon change since they can ably make for personal use and for sell.
Phiona Katusiime another girl in the camp told URN that she and other girls have been relying on well-wishers to get sanitary towels. She regards the attained skills as a ray of hope to many like her who have been often lured into marriage in the name of being provided for.
Vivian Alinet a teenage girl activist in Kasese says acquisition of sanitary towels remains a big challenge to many young girls especially those from poor and uneducated families.
Alinet says most parents especially fathers disregard buying sanitary materials for their girl children as their responsibility. She welcomes the training as a relief to many.
Victoria Elsie Saali from YANU however calls on government and other partners to regard menstrual issues among underprivileged girls as a national concern.
Kasese District Community Development Officer, Faisal Bagumira acknowledges that many girls are facing challenges. He however says the district is largely dependent on well-wishers to help such girls access basics such as sanitary materials due to lack of resources.
Though government had committed itself to provide free sanitary pad to girls in schools beginning with the financial year 2017/18, the ministry of education says the proposal staled due to lack of money.