In Uganda, menstruation remains a subject hard to discuss by parents with their children. Today 23rd November 2018, in a move to raise awareness on menstruation under the campaign “Break the Silence, make periods normal for girls” we conducted our 2nd interschool Menstrual Health Management competitions.
This was an amazing experience as it did not only raise awareness about the subject but it:
· Enabled children clearly communicate to parents that parents’ harshness affected pupils’ communication ability especially on sensitive issues of menstruation.
· Parents overlooking their responsibility of providing menstrual information and materials left pupils at crossroads.
· Parents noted that, they thought that school meetings were only about demanding for school dues, however these provided parents an opportunity to understand challenges their children encounter within schools
· Lack of scholastic materials, sanitary materials and school uniforms discouraged many pupils from continuing with school.
· Children noted that many parents postponed buying sanitary materials citing excuses of delayed salary payment and yet their menstrual cycle can’t be postponed making it hard for them to keep in school
· Pupil absenteeism remains a challenge due to menstruation, since girls continue to lack sanitary materials.
All that said, for us at Network for Community Development (NCD) this was a great learning event for children in the communities we serve.