The ongoing school closures in Uganda are having a devastating effect on children and their families but thanks to the generosity of people like you, our team in East Africa have been able to provide vital support to children from our partner schools while they are at home. Gloria shares the difference that this support is making in her life.
“My mother has a small business but because of the pandemic she gets very little money, not even enough to feed us at home. When I got my period, I didn’t ask for sanitary materials because I knew that my mother could not afford to buy them. I always improvised and used old clothes. I was even glad when schools closed, because I couldn’t imagine going to class during my period. It made me feel shy and even at home I avoided participating in many activities, especially going out in public.
I will not forget the day when our senior teacher asked us to come to school. I was not sure what was going to happen, but I knew it was about the I AM GIRL project.
I was very excited when they started distributing the pads that we can wash and re-use, and when they taught us how to use them. Most girls in my community could not afford to buy sanitary towels in these difficult times and we know that people can take advantage of us if we ask them to support us with pads.
All the girls came in big numbers, and we were all so happy for the support. It was my first time seeing a re-usable pad. Our teachers had promised to teach us how to make reusable sanitary pads but then schools closed. We can now properly manage our periods until we go back to school.
My friends and I were so happy for this surprise, and I want to thank the I AM GIRL project for thinking about us even as we stay at home. I wish our teachers could keep teaching us like they did that day, and I hope that school will open for us soon.”
Gloria, Primary 7, Namiika Primary School, Uganda
For girls in particular, this lockdown season is robbing them of their childhood forever. Schools in Uganda are due to reopen in January 2022 and we need your help reduce the barriers to education and ensure as many girls as possible return to the safety and protection of their school.
Will you stand in the gap with us this Christmas and show young girls like Gloria that they are not alone?