In Uganda, menstruation remains a subject hard to discuss by parents with their children. In school communities in Mukono District, every 7 out of 10 pupils first heard information about menstruation from their peers and teachers but not parents. This means we have a big challenge ahead of us because once peers have wrong information, then wrong information will be shared.
In the month of November 2018, in a move to raise awareness on menstruation under the campaign “Break the Silence, make periods normal for girls” we conducted interschool Menstrual Health Management competitions.
This was an amazing experience as it didnot only raise awareness about the subject but it:
· Created an opportunity for children to share the challenges they encounter using poems, plays and songs
· Encouraged creativity as children unwrapped the subject of menstruation
· Parents noted that they learnt that being shy about discussing issues of menstruation greatly affected children
· Male parents noted that they thought issues to do with menstruation were issues to do with women but the competitions highlighted the roles men should play in supporting girls and women during menstruation.
· Parents noted that many young girls continue to experience bullying especially when they have soiled uniforms during menstruation and as such parents should endeavor to provide the required 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.