Girls’ education

UK Aid Direct funds ZOA-UK to reduce girls’ absenteeism

Around the world many girls are missing school because they cannot afford sanitary products. Girls we work with in Zambia miss 30 days of school each year – half due to their period*.

ZOA-UK has secured a Small Charities Challenge Fund grant funded with UK aid from the UK Government to run a two-year project to provide girls with reusable sanitary pads, helping them remain in the classroom and progress in education.

ZOA-UK has received grant funding from UK Aid Direct to run a two-year project to reduce girls’ absenteeism by improving their access to sanitary products.

To create lasting change in deprived communities understanding amongst boys and girls about the mystery of menstruation must be improved. That’s why our local partners are running workshops for girls and boys, volunteers, parents/guardians, teachers, community leaders and peer educators to overturn stigma and superstitions such as;

  • Sometimes boys menstruate – believed by 9% of girls and 10% of boys*
  • Menstruating girls should not add salt to food because they can cause a cough in men – believed by 39% of girls and 25% of boys*
  • Burning or burying used sanitary materials leads to infertility – believed by 30% of girls and 20% of boys*

The funding from UK Aid Direct runs until 2020 at which point we will have delivered workshops for 1,000 children and youths, provided 500 girls with access to healthy menstrual hygiene management messaging, sensitised 245 carers, provided 430 girls and 580 of their female relatives with reusable sanitary pads, and improved hand washing facilities at two community schools.

*Results of ZOA-UK’s baseline survey on Menstrual Hygiene Management, October 2018.