Best Projects 2018 features all the nominated entries submitted to the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition under ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs. If you want to know the 10 finalists in this category click HERE
Sustainable Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM ) for young girls and women in Kyangwali Subcounty.
Explain your project in details:
Objectives: • To improve school attendance among girls between the ages of 10 and 15 years in primary schools; • To increase access to 10,000 vulnerable adolescent girls with sanitary towels and comprehensive menstrual hygiene management knowledge and risk awareness of HIV&AIDS among in-school and out of school girls between the ages 10 to 15 years; • To increase self-esteem of needy girls between ages 10 to 15 years; • To improve economic status for the young women between 18-34 years; • To document lessons learned and scale-up options documented. The beneficiary's need being met through this project includes provision of reusable sanitary towels (pads) which are the preferred sanitary protection for most women and girls. And while pads are preferred, the disposable ones are expensive. Still, many adolescent girls and women in Kyangwali Sub County have limited knowledge about their bodies, especially in relation to menstrual hygiene and reproductive health. For young girls in poor rural settings who often receive minimal instruction on what menstruation is and how it can be managed, the experience has been described as frightening, confusing and shame-inducing. Thus menstrual hygiene management capacity building will be another service provided through this project. The type of relationship that each of our beneficiaries expects us to establish and maintain is a personal assistance approach given the personal nature of the product. As such, this project envisions to provide exactly that personal touch through the trainings that will be offered at two levels: 1. To the female teacher focal persons and the training sessions to be conducted in schools before distribution of the pads and during the monitoring visits. 2. For the women and girls (I –Care ambassadors), trained will be expected to relay the same information to them and also inform them where the product can be found.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
The project will have an impact on 10,000 girls from marginalized communities through improvement in their health status and personal hygiene as a result of using the reusable pads. This will be realized in the sense that girls will no longer have to use unhygienic materials like old pieces of cloth or old newspapers that most of them are currently using during their menses. Also considering the fact that the first menstruation is often horrifying and traumatic to an adolescent girl because it usually occurs without her knowledge. Knowledge and understanding of girls on menstrual hygiene and reproductive health issues will be enhanced further leading to improved health status, increased levels of confidence and active involvement of girls in school. It is consequently anticipated that by providing the reusable pads, the number of days of education that a girl might receive as a result of this initiative could increase by as much as 3-5 days in a month. Ultimately, there will be reduction in the rate of school dropout, vulnerability of the girls to early engagement in sex to get income for acquiring the basic needs like sanitary pads. Recognizing that girls from low income families which this project will focus on engage in transactional sex to get money for pads further predisposing them to higher likelihood of contracting HIV as they are not able to negotiate with their partners to use protection, the proposed activities will have direct impacts on up to 10,000 girl’s exposure to risks such as early pregnancy, marriage and HIV AIDS and will equally address issues of individual and communal behaviour change with regard to adolescent sexuality, menstrual hygiene health and reproductive health rights issues. By focusing this project towards both boys and girls, it will foster more understanding attitudes, decreased social stigma.
Sustainability and future plans
The programme will develop an elaborate monitoring and evaluation framework with clear process and output indicators outlined in a log frame. A baseline assessment will be done to establish the existing status in the schools where the program will be implemented. At the end of the programme an evaluation will be undertaken with key lessons documented. The baseline analysis will form the basis of the evaluation within the schools. Program outcomes will be measured by determining whether, and how, the sanitary needs of vulnerable girls are being adequately met. Monitoring will be done in the community to find out whether they embraced the program and its efforts through community member feedback meetings. Discussions will include possibility of future financial support from the community to support specific program components, in-kind contributions of time, resources and even perceived popularity with participants based on rate of participation or waiting lists. Advancing public relations to highlight the need for the program and publish its successes. Keeping the media informed of events or inviting a member of the press to participate in fundraising drives/ create annual fund campaign for the Girl-Child, Marathons in creating awareness on Girl-Child education. This will improve publicity and make the public more aware of what the community role is in ensuring that the service offered remains ongoing. Still, the organization will regularly be sending to both the potential and actual partners’ newsletters, brochures and other promotional items such as branded t-shirts to ensure that product knowledge is improved and also look out for more funders for the project.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
I am aged 29 and currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health-Health Promotion at Uganda Martyrs University. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Guidance and Counselling from Kyambogo University. I have over 6 years of working experience in health(HIV/AIDS),community programs with adolescents, OVC’s ,youth, men and women in various settings especially with refugees and Uganda Nationals. I participated in an International Youth Essay competition by the World Bank on youth migration, I have a Diploma in Virtual Leadership Development program (VLDP) for M&E for Family planning and reproductive Health moderated by Management Sciences for Health and funded by USAID. I have a certificate in Humanitarian Disaster resilience leadership program by Makerere University(School of Public Health. I am a member of Amnesty International and GBV Prevention Network. I am a former Vice President of United Nations Association of Uganda-Kyambogo University Chapter. I Worked as ELMA Counselor with Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation-Uganda in Rwenzori Region and I monitored the implementation of strategies for increasing the acceptability, uptake of adolescent friendly services in health facilities , offered technical support supervision at 16 health facilities, built the capacity of 33 health workers in integrating Differentiated Service Delivery Model interventions to achieve treatment outcomes in line with achieving the 95:95:95 UNAIDS HIV targets. Previously worked as Social Worker with Nyaka AIDS Foundation in Kanungu and Rukungiri districts whereby; linked survivors/victims of sexual abuse for post rape/defilement services and made follow up on their cases in courts of law, Oversaw health and education programs focused on children and adolescents. Previously worked as a HIV/aids Counselor with Action Africa Help International-UNHCR implementing partner in Kyangwali refugees settlement and worked closely with stakeholders in the effective coordination and implementation of community based programs for refugees.