Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools Project Improves Attendance, Retention of Rural Girls in Malawi
For many years, rural girls in the communities were highly absent from school, and some of them dropped out due to inequalities related to menstruation.
Malawi: For many years, rural girls in the communities were highly absent from school, and some of them dropped out due to inequalities related to menstruation, writes Racheal Mkotama.
The Department of Information and Digitalization, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, has implemented the Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools project, known as the 'Nsambo wa Ukhondo' program, in certain rural areas of Malawi to address this issue.
'In the past, we were afraid to go to school when we were menstruating because the boys would tease us, so we would just decide to drop out so that we could menstruate freely while at home,' said Standard 8 learners Grades Mtemanyama.
'The project has not only provided us with a changing room, but it has also helped the men understand that we are the same and they should not tease us when they notice that we are menstruating.’
According to project national coordinator Wallace Chipeta, the 'Nsambo wa Ukhondo' program has had positive results in the district.
'We have heard that many girls are no longer absent from school or dropping out due to menstruation, as they are able to use the changing room at school,' Chipeta said.
He added that the project will help girls continue going to school and attending lessons without any issues related to menstruation.
The 'Nsambo wa Ukhondo' program is being implemented in the districts of Machinga, Chikwawa, and NKhotakota, with funding from UNICEF.