Girls in Teso Sub Region rely on free sanitary pads distributed thru their school, but with the schools shut and community lockdown in place to curb the spread of COVID-19, many have no access to sanitary pads.
“We used to get sanitary pads from my school in Soroti District. Now that schools are closed, I’m in my village with no access to sanitary pads I have to use pieces of paper (used newspaper), which is very uncomfortable,” says Phiona 16-year-old. “I feel sad and embarrassed I am afraid to sit down for the possibility of soiling my clothes.”
The measures imposed as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda have resulted in economic stress in families that are putting girls and women at a disadvantage. Many have been cut off from essential sexual and reproductive health services, economic activities, and social networks.
“When the government announced lockdowns, my family used their savings to stock on food and supplies, but sanitary pads were not considered. Those are normally considered a luxury. I am always glad to go to school as we can get the lucky girl pads from school,” Milam explains.
To respond to this crisis, we are working in our communities, to distribute 300+ sanitary towels to adolescent girls and women in the last two months.
“There are millions of girls affected by the COVID-19 pandemic having been used to accessing sanitary towels in schools,” Grace, SCOEN Program Manager says.
Thanks to your generous donations we were able to hand out sanitary pads to 240 girls! We are hoping to continue this program because there are still many, many girls who are going without, having to work or even have sex in order to pay for pads.
Through our friends and partners we handed out pads to 240 girls, but there are many who came and did not receive. We began a waiting list and are praying for the funds to continue purchasing pads for these girls.