- Re-usable pads and more affordable for the South Sudan refugees and easy to maintain
- There has been campaign on encouraging use of the re-usable pads in order to keep the girl-child in school
- Several humanitarian organisations have come in to donate pads but their efforts are overwhelmed by the number of girls in need of it
- The Staff of Uganda National Roads Authority had to collect money in order to salvage the fire need for the pads in primary and secondary schools in the refugee settlement in Arua district
ARUA. The dilemma that the South Sudan refugee girls have been facing may soon become a myth after UNRA staff donated about 500 re-usable pads for the girls.
The staff of UNRA collected monies that were then used to purchase the re-usable pads after most of the girls were dropping out of school because of the problems they faced during the menstruation.
Some of the girls have been nicknamed and received gender violence especially during the periods and so felt belittled and had to discontinue with their education. A pair of re-usable pads cost about Shs 7000.
The staff of Uganda National Roads Authority over the weekend donated about 500 sets of re-usabale pads for the South Sudanese refugees at Imvepi settlement in Arua district.
A UNRA staff putting smiles on the faces of the refugee girls after distribution of the pads and clothes at Imvepi. Photo by Felix
On Friday, the staff delivered the re-usabale pads and clothes at Imvepi settlement camp in Arua district. Speaking at the event, Ms Sarah Nduhukire, the UNRA Traffic and Road Safety Officer: “We intend to have the girls to keep in school and not drop out due to lack of pads. Do not throw these pads away because they can be re-used and you stay healthy in schools. It is unfortunate that many girls drop out because they cannot sustain the pressure from the boys during menstruation. So we want to avert this situation.”
She said: “We feel we should not only engage in roads only and we want everyone to have a good life because you are our brothers and sisters. When you use them, you will be in school and eventually hold the offices we are holding. We do not want your lives to be cut shot because of menstruation.”
One of the refugee girl, Ms Susan Sitima, 17, said: “The boys normally nickname us and make fun of us. But now when there is no pads, I use clothes that I fold to use. It is tedious because you have to keep changing all the time. If you don’t change, it stains your cloth.”
She said: “The talks from the boys doesn’t make one feel comfortable it this can force many to abandon school. I am so grateful for UNRA for looking after our lives. This will go down in our memories of making our lives healthy.”
Susan speaking to the press after delivery of the re-usable pads at Imvepi. Photo by Felix
The girls have been told to observe proper hygiene of the re-usable pads. They were taken through a sensitisation session of how to effectively use the pads.
The Youth Leader from the organization of Building Bridges, Ms Grace Nasolo, offered some sensitization to the girls who received the pads. “If you complete schools, we shall have gender parity. We need to have girls with improved health and those who can take care of the family.”
She said: “Nobody should be allowed to share pads because there are many health dangers involved.
The South Sudanese refugees mainly depended on handouts from humanitarian organisations, which are distributed once a month. As a result, some of the parents who cannot afford to buy for their girls, they end up dropping out of school.