Posted on May 1, 2018
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… Dignity for girls in Malawi
The Ulemu Project aims to reverse the very high dropout rate of girls from education at early age in Malawi. Ulemu, in the Chichewa language means dignity. The Ulemu project is about dignity for girls in Malawi.
A staggering 50% of girls in Malawi are married and / or bearing children by the age of 18 years. Girls education is impacted when they reach the age of menstruation. With no sanitary pads (it is not affordable), insufficient toilets and poor sanitation at school, girls stay home during menstruation and can lose up to a quarter of their school days each year. Added to these are cultural myths, taboos and traditional rites all of which confuse the girls and discourage them from going to school and puts them under pressure to get married.
What we do?
Our “Girl Shower” programme is carried out in partnership with schools. The girls receive lessons about menstrual health issues, hygeine and human rights among others. This helps to build up their confidence, teaches them the value of education and debunks some of the myths and taboos that discourage them and cause them to drop out of school, even as early as in primary school.
A second part of the programme trains women in the community, “Mother Groups“, various life skills including hygeine, health, sanitation, HIV awareness and business skills. They also learn to use sewing machines that we provide to produce reuseable sanitary pads and panties which are distributed to girls of menstrual age and also for sale to generate income. They are taught the importance of education for girls and counselled to encourage the girls to stay on in school to complete their education.
Why are we doing this project?
We want girls in Malawi to receive an education so that they can contribute to development and help break the cycle of poverty, particularly in the rural communities.
You can read more about the Ulemu Project in an article published in the Voice Newspaper. Click here.
Support the Ulemu Project Appeal
Please support this appeal. A little donation will go a long way to help this worthy cause and help girls in Malawi to go to school.