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GIRLS ROOM PROGRAMME IN SCHOOLS IN RWANDA

MY HEALTH, MY EDUCATION AND MY FUTURE


By Alice BUMANZI,MPH HDP

Background
Reasons girls miss school in Rwanda(MINEDUC 2012)
50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0

National targets in GRP


Primary target: 1,022,815 girls aged 10-18 years old in primary schools and lower secondary schools (MINEDUC 2012) Secondary target: other students, teachers, Parents and decision makers 2594 Primary schools in 2012 Gender equity in Education Increase completion rate among students

Girls Room Programme (GRP) Objectives


Urgent need to reverse the high absenteeism rate of girls in schools related to menstruation; National Policy and Strategy on ASRH&R promoting sexual education for youth 10-24 years; Education on menstruation hygiene is a logical entry point for sexual education for 10-14 year old youths.

The GRP Intervention


Stock a girls room in schools with girls aged between 10 to 18 years with emergency sanitary materials for use during menses; Using earmarked government funds Offers fun education to girls on how to manage their menstrual hygiene, how to demystify taboos; Equips teachers with competencies, skills, and mentorship to communicate with girls in a friendly way; Set up financial services, like a money saving and voucher scheme for parents.

Overview of intervention
Avail and equip girls room facility into schools Training of teachers : Mentors Government earmarked budget for buying disposable pads Inform school girls about menstruation Parents program

Intervention Results
60% (1500/2594) of Rwandan primary schools have an equipped girls room; Drop out among girls school decreased from 14.7 % to 10.7% Increase in confidence by 30% of girls in schools with girls rooms Through menstruation education, most of the myths & taboos have been demystified Incorporating boys in this program has addressed the issue of the stigma

Challenges and lessons learned


Earmarked fund is not enough to cover girls menses needs; Schools should construct girls room from their own budget; Insufficient trained teachers; Socio-cultural barriers and myths around menstruation; Difficult to make the project sustainable; HDP covers only schools in four districts.

Conclusion and recommendations


Introduction of reusable pads product is affordable compared to disposal pads For sustainability: Saving system Voucher system Locally production Needs efforts for all

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