Lets talk about periods- International Menstruation Day 2016

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Let Them Help Themselves Out of Poverty is a UK registered NGO, which has been working in Ruhanga for the last 6 years mainly focusing on poverty alleviation.

From August 2015, LTHT has been focusing on women and girl economic empowerment through a number of programs:

  1. “Send a chicken to an African woman” focused on launching 29 micro poultry farms where local women were provided the equipment and materials to start their own businesses as well as chickens and feed. LTHT also ran a thorough training program to ensure women acquire the right skills to manage the farms, market their eggs and save enough to reinvest in the future.
  2. “The dairy goat loan” is a project focused on lending widows a crossbreed female goat, which they keep and care for until the first kid is weaned. At that point the widow will pass the kid (if female) to another widow (as a loan) and will remain with the initial female goat. If the kid is a male, it will be returned to LTHT to sell it and get funds to purchase another female goat. The main objective of this program is to provide an alternative source of milk to these families and also an asset to the widows to enable them to generate income by selling the milk or the offspring/s.
  3. Free sewing lessons for girls out of school and not in employment. An annual course to learn the basics of sewing and fashion design. The main objective is to give these girls an opportunity to gain skills that they can use to create their own employment or work for someone else and get a salary.
  4. Menstrual Hygiene Management Program within this context LTHT will be exploring the access to affordable and washable sanitary pads and educate girls and women on reproductive health, including menopause. Our target audience for this program school aged girls and their mothers, legislators within Ntungamo District who are responsible for Health and Education and those involved in policy making.

LTHT recently sponsored three young women to attend the Days for Girls University in Kampala, a 2-week residential course to learn how to make washable sanitary pads and soap, become women’s reproductive health ambassadors and understand the basics to run an enterprise.

Allen, Letricia and Agnes on their graduation day

These three girls will be Women’s Reproductive Health Ambassadors in Ntungamo District where they will not only be educating girls and women about their bodies and how to keep them healthy but also sewing and selling washable sanitary pads as an affordable and sustainable alternative to disposable ones.

LTHT has organised an event in Ntungamo this Saturday coinciding with Menstrual Hygiene Day to bring together both men and women from all walks of life to talk about menstruation and the challenges girls and women face every month due to poor menstrual hygiene management infrastructure and lack of access to affordable sanitary products.

LTHT is hoping the event will be the trigger of a long journey to end with the existing taboos about periods and reproductive health in the rural areas of Western Uganda.

If you would like to keep updated on this initiate or learn about other LTHT projects, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

About the author: Maria Alvarellos is a Program Manager at LTHT and can be contacted at [email protected] via Twitter  @malvadri

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