Empowering Haysam Girls to Stay in School
Shame and discomfort are in the way to the education of girls.
Across most of rural Tanzania, kids have to walk long distances to get to school and stay several hours there. For girls, this can pose problems when they are menstruating. Girl´s sanitary pads do not always provide the needed protection and clothes may get soiled, resulting in shame and discomfort. Out of this shame, girls often stay home during their periods or - even worse - drop out of school entirely. Access to clean absorbents, private disposal facilities, and a place to wash and dry clothes helps reduce the stigma and shame related to menstrual hygiene, encouraging girls to stay in school.
In 2018 Karimu built adequate facilities for girls to deal with their menstrual periods at Ayalagaya Secondary School. The construction of facilities caused an increase in the attendance and performance of the girls. So, we decided to retroactively build similar facilities at Haysam Primary School.
These facilities are built within high walls to ensure the privacy of the girls and include
flexible water hose installed in some stalls to be used as a handheld bidet, so the girls can wash themselves,
a washing area with sinks for them to wash their clothes, in case they get stained, and ways to hang clothes to dry,
an incinerator to get rid of sanitary hygiene waste.
The extension to the girls toilet at Haysam Primary School has been designed to address the girls needs during their menstrual cycle, thus encouraging them to stay at school and have equal educational opportunities. See plan below.
The community contributed $273 plus labor and one desk and one chair for each classroom and office in the school.