Keeping Girls in School
SAFE, CLEAN, AND PRIVATE CHANGING ROOMS FOR GIRLS
|The start of menstruation among primary school girls has affected their attendance and performance in primary school as a result of skipping school during this time. They feel embarrassed and do not have a sanitary and private space to go to while in school. In response to this challenge, help2kids proposed to construct safe, clean, and private changing rooms and latrines at our two partner primary schools –Lifuwu Primary School and Kazembe Primary School. This came into fruition with a grant from LEGO Foundation.|
|On October 9th, the school management committee, mothers group, parents, teachers, and primary school girls gathered to witness the opening of the changing rooms and latrines at Lifuwu Primary School. Also present were one of the local chiefs, school patron, and a representative of the Primary Education Advisor. Mr. Atha Rashidi from the school management committee served as the master of ceremonies.|
|The opening ceremony started with a thank you song and dance performance from primary school girls. help2kids Malawi’s field manager Chndy Rogel delivered a few words about the project. These were followed by speeches and expression of thanks from Emma, a representative from Lifuwu Primary School who spoke on behalf of her female schoolmates. Emma highlighted the significance of having a private space, such as changing rooms, in their education. She noted that girls, when on their periods, tend to skip school due to the lack of a private space when they need to change their pads and therefore feel embarrassed. She said that this had detrimental effects on their school performance. She is hopeful that with the construction of changing rooms and latrines at their school, girls will be encouraged to go to school and their performance will improve.|
Guests also acknowledged the work that help2kids has been doing in the past couple of years in Lifuwu and noted that they will continue doing their part as a community for a fruitful partnership. After the speeches, we had a ribbon-cutting ceremony and turnover of keys to officially open the changing rooms. The girls were excited to see inside – four changing rooms and two latrines. They could wash and dry their pads in private because there is a drying line inside the building.
|Special thanks goes out to the contractor Mr. Matthews Phiri, who worked tirelessly to make sure a good quality building is constructed for the girls; and to Lifuwu Primary School’s head teacher Mr. Nathan Sambo, who was regularly present at the construction site to lend support in ensuring everything is going well and as planned.|
|help2kids is proud to offer the changing rooms and latrines as a gift to the girls, who can avoid skipping school because they now have a private space to themselves on days that they have their period. This complements the girls’ guide group’s reusable pad-making project. They are extremely grateful for the building. They promise to take care of it so that girls younger than them could continue to use it in the future.|
The construction of changing rooms and latrines at Kazembe Primary School is currently under way and is expected to be completed before the rainy season starts.