Our activities to help girls in Western-Zambia with menstrual hygiene needs - Updates by Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC)

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Advocate for a law on free tax on reusable sanitary pads for school girls in Zambia

In Zambia, girls often miss school because of difficulty managing menstrual periods without sanitary supplies and facilities.

GIRLS in Zambia miss school for 4 days in 28 days loses 13 learning days equivalent to two weeks of learning every term. In an academic year (nine months), a girl loses 39 learning days equivalent to six weeks of learning time. Without access to sanitary pads to contain the flow, girls stay home, because of this girls often use dirty rags or mattress pieces, newspaper or even sand and leaves or sitting on cow patties instead. Doing this puts them at a huge risk of infection. This is a clear indication that a girl child is a school drop-out while still in school.

Girls in Western province, Zambia have asked for our help! We plan to provide reusable sanitary pads to 5000 girls from primary and secondary schools aged 10-18 years from marginalized locations and slums since these are the most affected, the reusable sanitary pads are a great solution to this problem because are super cheaper, effective and sustainable on a long term basis. They last anywhere for 4 years when used properly, allowing girls to live freely without worrying about how they will purchase sanitary towels for the next month. This also means they can go to school everyday and get an education that will allow them become economically empowered!

If poor attendance of girls in school is not addressed as a result of inadequate facilities that respond to girls’ menstrual challenges, because most girls lack supplies to safely and hygienically manage menstruation while at school, girls’ school attendance becomes less consistent after fifth grade. Zambia risks missing achieving the Sustainable Development Goal Number: -
 Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages.
 Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong Learning.
 Goal 5: To achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
 Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainability of water and sanitation by all.
 Goal 8: Promote sustained inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full productive employment and decent work for all.

Schools in Zambia have no budgets to support sustainable supply of menstrual pads for needy girls.

Therefore my Organisation "Maboshe Memorial Centre - MMC" is planning to advocate for a law on free tax on reusable sanitary pads for school girls in Zambia, We feel this move would improve access to education in Zambia where many poor girls cannot afford reusable sanitary products and girls in rural schools do not miss on their life long opportunities of acquiring quality education. Do you think this could work out?

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Re: Making sanitation happen: turning ‘political will’ into action

Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) is Western province, Zambia's largest child organization; everyday we bring real hope to millions of children in Western's hardest

Millions of people in Zambia do not have access to clean safe water, this means, Zambia is losing 5% of its GDP as a result of poor water and sanitation infrastructures, access to clean and safe water and sanitation is a fundamental human right and essential to life, health and dignity. We note that 6.5 million lack access to improved sanitation leaving 2.3 million to practice open defecation while only 43% of the 8.4 million rural populations have access to improved sanitation facilities.

Out of 53 countries in Africa, Zambia is in the 16th lowest position in terms of access to water and the 30th lowest in terms of access to sanitation. Diarrhea caused by dirty water, poor sanitation and a lack of hygiene kills 800,000 people every year, including more children under the age of five than HIV/AIDS, malaria and measles combined.

Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) under Maboshe Rural Water Initiative (MRWI), MMC is working to free diarrhoea caused by dirty water, poor sanitation and a lack of hygiene in communities of Western province, Zambia with high cases of unprotected wells, Maboshe Rural Water Initiative (MRWI) conduct drilling of water wells, hygiene lessons to improve water, sanitation and hygiene behaviors among school going children and children under the age of five (5) years, build model pit – latrines in communities, hand wash facilities to enable children wash their hands after using their toilets, conduct community awareness on the importance of practicing good hygiene such as washing hands after using the toilet to avoid cases of diarrhoea, promote good behaviors practice of washing hands after using the toilet.

Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) is working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) No. 6 adopted in September 2015, MMC has resolved to fix this and achieve safe Water, Sanitation and good Hygiene (WASH) for school going children, under 5 years children and community people by 2030. Therefore, we need to contribute to this effort to make our home and communities a safe place free of diarrhoea caused by dirty water, poor sanitation and a lack of hygiene

MABOSHE RURAL WATER INITIATIVE (MRWI) works in rural/remote communities of western, Zambia to support school going disabled children and other vulnerable children under the age of five (5) years with access to clean Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and works towards improved response to clean water and reduce diseases with its offices in rural/remote districts of Western, Zambia with its professional team who go out to the villages to work with the local people on WASH projects. MRWI works to free community disabled children and other vulnerable children under 5 years old from diarrheal caused by dirty water, poor sanitation and a lack of hygiene in communities of Western province with high cases of unprotected wells, MRWI conduct drilling water wells, hygiene lessons to improve Water, Sanitation and hygiene behaviors among school going disabled children and other vulnerable children under the age of five (5) years, build model pit – latrines in communities, hand wash facilities to enable children wash their hands after using their toilets, conduct community awareness on the importance of practicing good hygiene such as washing hands after using the toilet to avoid cases of diarrheal, promote good behaviors practice of washing hands after using the toilet.

MRWI is working with communities, villages and schools, helping disabled children and other vulnerable children in rural/remote communities of Western, Zambia! And its programs have a long-lasting impact. Good hygiene practice is maintained thus avoiding some of the life-threatening diseases. Families with access to water are able to grow their own food. A reliable source of water means small scale village farmers can harvest crops throughout the year instead of just in the rainy season. As a result surplus food can be sold at local markets. The program build on the power of rural/remote communities to solve Water, Sanitation and Hygiene challenges in providing Innovative Village Small Grants (IVSG) to expand and improve their solutions to the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene crisis.

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Re: Help Girls in Western-Zambia with Sanitary pads!!

Girls Issues in rural Zambia. In rural Zambia girls face many problems that put their health at risk, preventing them from getting a good education and fulflling their potential. The cycle of poverty starts early and they are most vulnerable during adolescence. Born into poor families many girls fail to stay in school; many are tempted to have sex for money - just to survive or buy simple things, like a pen for school; or are married as early as 13 or 14 because their family cannot afford to feed them. By their late teens they often have children, no husband and may have an STD or AIDS. Support our project of Help Girls in Western-Zambia with Sanitary pads!! www.youcaring.com/Sanitarypads

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Re: Looking for Grants opportunity in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Zambia

Receive greeting from Mongu district, Western, Zambia.

My name is Patrick Maboshe, i am among the member of SuSanA forum, am working with local NGOs called Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) is a tax-exempted child sponsorship not-for-profit making humanitarian aid NGO founded on the 24th November, 2006 in memories of the late Dr. Rodney Aongola Maboshe Maboshe in Mongu, Western, Zambia and registered under the laws of Zambia, focusing on helping disabled children and other vulnerable children (school dropout girls, young mothers, disabled children, Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) from poverty stricken families go to school and raise their voices for the right to education in working for communities where all children, mainly girls can learn and lead without fear.

Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) operates through established structures such as: - Namakau Mukelabai Memorial School, Maboshe Drop In Centre (Shelter), Community House Fund, Maboshe Rural Water Initiative (MRWI), Maboshe Small Village Bank Fund (MSVBF), Maboshe Legal Clinic & Child Rights Unit, Family HIV/AIDS prevention and ART adherence clubs and Maboshe’s Gift Scholarships and district community centres.

Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) under Maboshe Rural Water Initiative (MRWI), MMC is working to free diarrhoea caused by dirty water, poor sanitation and a lack of hygiene in communities of Western province, Zambia with high cases of unprotected wells, Maboshe Rural Water Initiative (MRWI) conduct drilling of water wells, hygiene lessons to improve water, sanitation and hygiene behaviors among school going children and children under the age of five (5) years, build model pit – latrines in communities, hand wash facilities to enable children wash their hands after using their toilets, conduct community awareness on the importance of practicing good hygiene such as washing hands after using the toilet to avoid cases of diarrhoea, promote good behaviors practice of washing hands after using the toilet.

Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) is also working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) No. 6 adopted in September 2015, MMC has resolved to fix this and achieve safe Water, Sanitation and good Hygiene (WASH) for school going children, under 5 years children and community people by 2030. Therefore, we need to contribute to this effort to make our home and communities a safe place free of diarrhoea caused by dirty water, poor sanitation and a lack of hygiene.

During my official trips to Western province communities and villages find that many people are still practicing open defecation meaning that people do not have improved access a toilet, hygiene and clean safe water, access to clean and safe water and sanitation is a fundamental human right and essential to life, health and dignity. I noted that lack access to improved sanitation leaving people to practice open defecation with no access to improved sanitation facilities.

Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) is encouraged to lobby for more resources from cooperating partners to cascade the new toilet and hand washing factices with high diarrhoea cases in the province, over 15,000 school going children, under 5 years children and community people will be assisted with water filters, improved models of pit-latrines and hygiene behaviors in reducing incidences of diarrhoea cases.

MMC charity organisation facebook page: - www.facebook.com/maboshememorialc
MMC charity organisation twitter: - twitter.com/mmc_office
MMC charity organisation Blog: maboshememorialc.blogspot.com
MMC charity organisation Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/…/maboshe-memorial-centre-8272718a/
MMC charity organisation instagram: www.instagram.com/mmcmonguheadoffice/
MMC charity organisation website: - www.maboshememorialcentremmc.yolasite.com

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Re: MABOSHE SANITARY TOWEL INITIATIVE (MSTI)

Menstruation is one of the signs that show that a girl is turning into a woman, this occurs monthly. It is a major stage of puberty in girls. It’s quite unfortunate that in rural areas of Mongu district in Zambia and in the 21st Century there are girls who cannot be able to gain access to sanitary towels.

Girls and women of all ages and mostly in the age of 10-19 years have resorted to use cow dung, which makes into a flat shape and hang it out on the sun to dry and others also use cow dung which is made into a powder after dried in the sun. They make several pieces of them so that they can be able to use them for about three (3) months. When they are on their period, they take the dried cow dung and place it on their inner wear and put some pieces of cloth on top of the dried dung. They said that the dung acts as a sponge and absorbs the blood when it passes through the cloth.

Girls do not only carry babies and buckets of water but they also carry the potential to bring social, economic and potential development. Enhance their potential by investing in girl child education.

Maboshe Sanitary Towel Initiative (MSTI) project under the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) is embarking on its first ever outreach under the "Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) Program." The outreach will involve the donation of sanitary kits to school going girl children and Chilombola and interact with them through various lessons on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM).

During our visit to some of the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) operation zones in rural district of Western province, Zambia looking at issues of Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM), we find out that women and girls are using cow dung during menstruation because they cannot access proper sanitary wear. Traditionally, the issue of menstruation is a private matter that is not discussed openly. Many women prefer to hide the fact that they are having their period due to the stigma attached to it. A shocking revelation by rural women and girls about how they manage their monthly menstruation has sparked an outcry at the first-ever meeting. Girls and women from across all ages of the community were invited. Due to high sanitary costs and lack of resources, girls and women make pieces of cloths and cow dung to absorb the flow of their monthly menstruation.

For girls in school a quality high-school education can transform a girl's future, yet around the World many adolescent girls miss school or even drop out altogether for one simple reason menstruation. Our Many Zambian Schools in rural district we operate from lack the supplies and sanitation facilities girls need for managing their periods. Girls without adequate health care may feel discomfort or pain, shame, stigma and misinformation may discourage girls from attending school while menstruating and prevent schools from teaching healthy attitudes about menstruation. Many girls stay home to avoid being teased.

We have the power to make a difference in a girl child’s life by providing training to a school girl child and the distribution of sanitary pads.

Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) under Maboshe Sanitary Towel Initiative (MSTI) on its ongoing Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) program is lobbying for support to equip school going girl children and Chilombola on how to make reusable pads to aid girl pupils as poor menstrual hygiene may cause stigma and ill health leading to school absenteeism and increased school drop-out rates.

Mary Nawa Mwiya (Not Her Real Name) 15years in grade 11 pupil from a named Secondary School in Mongu district was gripped with fears of menstruation when she first attended boarding school. There was only basic knowledge of maintaining good menstrual hygiene practices at the school. However, this can make girls to choice between succeeding and dropping out of school. Thus, Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) trying its best to bring on board donor partners who can be of help in addressing Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) to educate pupils, both boys and girls.

Maboshe Sanitary Towel Initiative (MSTI) through menstrual hygiene management is to ensure that women and girls can manage their periods in a way that is not only healthy, but that enables their full participation in school, work, and other activities and also helping girls from poor social economic backgrounds with a free pack of sanitary towels to reduce absenteeism from school which has the potential to enhance poor school performance. The project will go beyond free distribution of sanitary pads by carrying out Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) education giving girls and Chilombola in rural communities the building blocks to build their lives and their dignity.

There has been a challenge for girls who lack sanitary pads in rural areas with some of them often using unhygienic methods to take care of their monthly periods, others often missing school for 3 to 5 days every month during their menstruation because they lack sanitary pads. This means that a girl who is absent from school due to menses can miss up to two weeks of learning in every school term.
If poor attendance of girls in school is not addressed as a result of inadequate facilities that respond to girls’ menstrual challenges, because most girls lack supplies to safely and hygienically manage menstruation. Zambia risks missing achieving the Sustainable Development Goal Number: -
• Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages.
• Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong Learning.
• Goal 5: To achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
• Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainability of water and sanitation by all.
• Goal 8: Promote sustained inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full productive employment and decent work for all.

Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) feels that we have to break the silence and build awareness about the fundamental role that good Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) plays in enabling girls and women to reach their full potential in living a health life by promoting hygiene.

Therefore, menstrual hygiene is top on the agenda for the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) because MMC prioritize girls’ education. That is why MMC is doing everything possible to ensure the girl child remains in school, the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) team wishes to extend its invitation to interested donor partners and persons to take part in making the program a success by way of partnering, donations and contributions in acquiring sanitary kits.
Issued by Patrick Maboshe
Executive Director
Memorial Centre (MMC)
+260979997382
Website: - www.maboshememorialcentremmc.yolasite.com/volunteer.php
Facebook page: - www.facebook.com/maboshememorialc
Twitter: - twitter.com/mmc_office

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Re: UN SDG 6.2 CANNOT BE ACHIEVED WITHOUT SAFE MENSTRUAL HYGIENE MANAGEMENT FOR ALL WOMEN AND GIRLS

Half of the world’s population menstruates. Breaking the silence on menstruation can change women and girls’ lives.

Integrating Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in national policies across sectors will ensure that no one is left behind.

During our 2017 -2018 project implementation periods the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) office was informed of girls and women in some of the organization operating zones using of cow dung instead of sanitary pads.
Menstruation is a dream-killer for most girls, as they are unable to attend school during menstruation. On the other hand, those who cannot afford a good menstrual pad, rely on old rags as alternatives. There is no denying the detrimental health impacts faced by poor girls and women due to these unhygienic practices. Without access to sanitary pads to contain the flow, girls stay home, half of girls in rural areas report missing 4 to 5 days of school each month when they're on their periods. Girls living in rural areas of Zambia have little or no access to, or cannot afford modern commercially-produced disposable sanitary pads and are taught by older women what to use instead. Torn cloths, cow dung, dirty rags or mattress pieces, newspaper or even sand and leaves instead (rather like a sarong) is traditionally used but this is bulky and doesn’t stay in place so girls will stay at home, particularly from school during their menses. Doing this puts them at a huge risk of infection. This means that they miss lessons for around 1 week in every four - that’s 25% of lessons or, during their four years of secondary education, a whole year of schooling. Educating a girl means that they will a higher income, healthier baby, and be more involved in community activities and often, it helps break the cycle of extreme poverty.

It’s quite unfortunate that in rural areas of Mongu district in Zambia and in the 21st Century there are girls who cannot be able to gain access to sanitary towels.

Girls and women of all ages and mostly in the age of 10-19 years have resorted to use cow dung, which makes into a flat shape and hang it out on the sun to dry and others also use cow dung which is made into a powder after dried in the sun. They make several pieces of them so that they can be able to use them for about three (3) months. When they are on their period, they take the dried cow dung and place it on their inner wear and put some pieces of cloth on top of the dried dung. They said that the dung acts as a sponge and absorbs the blood when it passes through the cloth.

According to the findings done by the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) from Doctors in obstetrics and gynecology, say girls and women suffer from gynecological diseases due to the improper use of sanitary products. World Health Organization (WHO) claims that 63% of gynecological diseases are caused by using poor quality sanitary products as girls and women are vulnerable to infection during this delicate period and weakened immunity can lead to more serious health threats.

The girls and women in our operation zones in the rural areas say that they use cow dung because they cannot afford to buy proper sanitary wear or pad. For a woman to keep clean and prevent any leakages they may need more than one sanitary towel and those with a heavy flow may need up to 4 of them. This can be costly and can lead to the spending of more than US$20 (K200) per month and this is relatively expensive to people who are living in rural areas. I believe that Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) is trying to lobby from government and the donor community to subsidize the prices of sanitary towels and make it more affordable to everyone.

In our opinion, when in Western Province, Zambia where some girls and women are still using cow dung, girls and women especially school going girls choose to remain home every month while on their period. This causes girls to miss out on a lot, some even remain at home for almost a weak depending on how different the menses vary. A woman in Kembi Village said growing up, menstruation was a taboo topic to talk about openly because with it came dire consequences like isolation and utter embarrassment and a girls in Kannde Village she stays home during her period due to an experience she would love to forget. She said, “I cannot forget the humiliation i experienced when my fellow pupils saw blood on my uniform and it being a mixed school the boys made fun of me.” This experience shows exactly what happens to girls if they happen to soil their clothes while out in public.

International conventions and action plans elaborate on women’s sexual and reproductive rights, but stop short of explicitly mentioning menstruation. If health education is provided in a community or school, the chapter on reproductive health is often skipped due to these taboos. Even development sectors such as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) ignore girl’s and women’s need for safe spaces to manage Menstrual Hygiene and mechanisms for safe disposal of materials used to absorb menstrual blood — despite routinely dealing with infrastructure and taboo topics such as excreta. SDG target 6.2 puts a focus on ensuring sanitation and hygiene for everyone, everywhere, all of the time.

In Zambia we have started working to incorporate Menstrual Hygiene Management into our work with schools and health centres. We aim to provide a supply of re-usable sanitary pads to school girls, train health educators to deliver menstrual health education and hygiene training in schools and the community, to girls, boys and their families. This will raises awareness and breaks down taboos and discrimination against menstruating girls. Menstrual Hygiene Management will enable girls to manage their menstrual cycle with dignity, which will help keep them in school, furthering their education and improving their life chances.

Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) is top on the agenda for the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) because MMC prioritize girls’ education. That is why MMC is doing everything possible to ensure the girl child remains in school.

Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) feels that we have to break the silence and build awareness about the fundamental role that good Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) plays in enabling girls and women to reach their full potential in living a health life by promoting hygiene.

Issued by the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC)
Cell # + 260979997382, +260975077808 and +260954655071
MMC website: - maboshememorialcentremmc.yolasite.com
MMC facebook page: - www.facebook.com/maboshememorialc
MMC twitter: - twitter.com/mmc_office
MMC Blog: maboshememorialmmc.blogspot.com/
MMC Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/maboshe-memorial-centre-8272718a/

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Re: MABOSHE MEMORIAL CENTRE (MMC) WILL BE LAUNCHING A PETITION FOR TAX FREE SANITARY PADS .

For millions of women and girls around the world, menstruation can lead not only to cramps, bloating, and mood swings, but it also can lead to days of missed school and lower future economic earnings. Menstruating girls are ripe for childbearing, this particular attitude fuels child marriage. Menstruation is strictly a woman’s business. These attitudes surrounding menstruation are fueled by religion, culture and personal interpretation.

The remove of tax on pads will help in education for girls, who are often forced to stay at home due to a lack of access to clean hygiene products, while also facing stigma and a lack of toilets in schools.
Periods are among the leading factors for girls to drop out of school in a country where four out of five women and girls are estimated by campaigners to have no access to sanitary pads.

Girls and women in rural areas face many challenges when they have their periods, especially in rural areas where a lack of awareness and the cost of pads mean many instead use unsanitary cloth or rags, cow dung, increasing the risk of infections and disease.

Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) Executive Director Maboshe Patrick will be launching a petition to make sanitary pads tax free in Zambia.

The organisation hopes to collect more than 2,000 signatures and will be calling on the Zambian government to remove taxes on the sanitary pads product.

Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) feels that we have to break the silence and build awareness about the fundamental role that good Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) plays in enabling girls and women to reach their full potential in living a health life by promoting hygiene.

Therefore, Menstrual Hygiene is top on the agenda for the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) because MMC prioritize girls’ education. That is why MMC is doing everything possible to ensure a girl child remains in school, the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) team wishes to extend its invitation to interested donor partners and persons to take part in making the program a success by way of partnering, donations and contributions in acquiring sanitary kits.

This move will help in providing a means to effectively and affordably manage menstruation in to keeping girls in school, empowering the young women of developing countries to achieve a better quality of life; the petition will be handed over to the Finance Minister.

Issued by the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC)

Cell # + 260979997382, +260975077808 and +260954655071
MMC website: - maboshememorialcentremmc.yolasite.com
MMC facebook page: - www.facebook.com/maboshememorialc
MMC twitter: - twitter.com/mmc_office
MMC Blog: maboshememorialmmc.blogspot.com/
MMC Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/maboshe-memorial-centre-8272718a/

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Re: LOOKING FOR POTENTIAL PARTNERS WHO CAN SUPPORT MENSTRUAL HYGIENE MANAGEMENT (MHM) FOR SCHOOL GIRLS, IN WESTERN, ZAMBIA.

When girls miss school they lose out on their future. Education impacts earning potential, job tenure, and martial age and family planning choices. With 250 million girls lacking access to safe menstrual products and the hygienic tools necessary to manage their periods and attend school, keeping girls in school has become a challenge.

My name is Maboshe Patrick, the Founder and Executive Director of the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) a tax-exempted child sponsorship not-for-profit making humanitarian aid NGO founded on the 24th November, 2006 in memories of the late Dr. Rodney Aongola Maboshe in Mongu, Western, Zambia and registered under the laws of Zambia, focusing on helping disabled children and other vulnerable children from poverty stricken families go to school and raise their voices for the right to education in working for communities where all children, mainly girls can learn and lead without fear.

On behalf of the organisation management, I would like to reach out to you seeking for your support towards Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) activities in the provision of sanitary pads and sanitation facilities for the school going girls in Western Province of Zambia.

Menstruation is a dream-killer for most girls, as they are unable to attend school during menstruation. On the other hand, those who cannot afford a good menstrual pad, rely on old rags as alternatives. There is no denying the detrimental health impacts faced by poor girls and women due to these unhygienic practices. Without access to sanitary pads to contain the flow, girls stay home, half of girls in rural areas report missing 4 to 5 days of school each month when they're on their periods.

Girls living in rural areas of Zambia have little or no access to, or cannot afford modern commercially-produced disposable sanitary pads and are taught by older women what to use instead. Torn cloths, cow dung, dirty rags or mattress pieces, newspaper or even sand and leaves instead (rather like a sarong) is traditionally used but this is bulky and doesn’t stay in place so girls will stay at home, particularly from school during their menses. Doing this puts them at a huge risk of infection. This means that they miss lessons for around 1 week in every four - that’s 25% of lessons or, during their four years of secondary education, a whole year of schooling. Educating a girl means that they will a higher income, healthier baby, and be more involved in community activities and often, it helps break the cycle of extreme poverty.

It’s quite unfortunate that in rural districts of Western province in Zambia and in the 21st Century there are girls who cannot be able to gain access to sanitary towels.

Girls in the age of 10-18 years have resorted to use cow dung, which makes into a flat shape and hang it out on the sun to dry and others also use cow dung which is made into a powder after dried in the sun. They make several pieces of them so that they can be able to use them for about three (3) months. When they are on their period, they take the dried cow dung and place it on their inner wear and put some pieces of cloth on top of the dried dung. They said that the dung acts as a sponge and absorbs the blood when it passes through the cloth.

According to the findings done by the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) from Doctors in obstetrics and gynecology, say girls and women suffer from gynecological diseases due to the improper use of sanitary products. World Health Organization (WHO) claims that 63% of gynecological diseases are caused by using poor quality sanitary products as girls and women are vulnerable to infection during this delicate period and weakened immunity can lead to more serious health threats.

The girls and women in our operation zones in the rural areas say that they use cow dung because they cannot afford to buy proper sanitary wear or pad. For a woman to keep clean and prevent any leakages they may need more than one sanitary towel and those with a heavy flow may need up to 4 of them. This can be costly and can lead to the spending of more than US$20 (K200) per month and this is relatively expensive to people who are living in rural areas. I believe that Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) is trying to lobby from government and the donor community to subsidize the prices of sanitary towels and make it more affordable to everyone.

In our opinion, when in Western Province, Zambia where some girls and women are still using cow dung, girls and women especially school going girls choose to remain home every month while on their period. This causes girls to miss out on a lot, some even remain at home for almost a weak depending on how different the menses vary. A woman in Kembi Village said growing up, menstruation was a taboo topic to talk about openly because with it came dire consequences like isolation and utter embarrassment and a girls in Kannde Village she stays home during her period due to an experience she would love to forget. She said, “I cannot forget the humiliation i experienced when my fellow pupils saw blood on my uniform and it being a mixed school the boys made fun of me.” This experience shows exactly what happens to girls if they happen to soil their clothes while out in public.

During our 2017 -2018 project implementation periods the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) office was informed of girls and women in some of the organization operating zones using of cow dung instead of sanitary pads.

Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) aims to break taboos and raise awareness about the importance of good Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) for adolescent girls in western province of Zambia. Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in schools will have momentous positive impact on child health and on education outcomes. By providing decent sanitary pads and sanitation facilities will encourages children, especially girls to attend schools.

Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) feels that we have to break the silence and build awareness about the fundamental role that ending open defecation plays in enabling people to reach their full potential in living a health life by promoting hygiene.

Therefore, Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) is top on the agenda for the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) that is why the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) team wishes to extend its invitation to interested donor partners and persons to take part in Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) program a success by way of partnering, donations and contributions.

Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) has no fund currently but is looking for potential partners who can support Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) activities in schools. Schools are the most important places for learning for children and it is where initiate changes start.

Download the copies of Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) below.

Issued by the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC)

Cell # + 260979997382, +260975077808 and +260954655071
MMC website: - maboshememorialcentremmc.yolasite.com
MMC facebook page: - www.facebook.com/maboshememorialc
MMC twitter: - twitter.com/mmc_office
MMC Blog: maboshememorialmmc.blogspot.com/
MMC Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/maboshe-memorial-centre-8272718a/

PM

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