Sending love from an often rainy as well as sunny Uganda (we're currently in the midst of rainy season!) and hoping that this email finds you safe and well!
Thank you so much for your interest and support for the Every Girl project. We can hardly believe that we are coming up to December. Where did the time go? We hope you'll enjoy reading some of our highlights over the past three months.
Despite the lockdown giving us a chance to check off our 'to do list', we are thankful that restrictions in Uganda have eased significantly over the past few months. Recent changes have meant that we have been able to host our trainings again. Armed with electronic temperature guns, hand sanitisers and face masks, as well as ensuring social distance, it has been so much fun to be able to meet in groups again.
We have been able to hold three separate pad trainings, bringing the number of volunteers that we have trained to 270! The aim is that these volunteers will then be able to teach girls in their communities how to make their own reusable sanitary pads. We hope that the message will continue to spread and that more and more girls and women who struggle to afford safe sanitary wear will have another option.
Excitingly, we have also been able to train Justine, in the left photo, as a teacher. It has been so much fun to have someone else to lead sessions with and great to be able to offer paid work too. We are hoping as we start 2021 to find someone that we can also train to head up the project so that it can become more sustainable in the long-term.
Throughout the lockdown we were able to plan and prepare the women's health education aimed primarily at men. This was requested by some of the women we had been training in community groups, as often men are the head of households in Uganda and many of the women we had met had found that their partners had not been very understanding of their needs. This means that they are the ones to allocate finances towards items such as sanitary wear and it's hoped that increased knowledge and understanding of each others needs will reduce domestic violence.
The teaching involves training volunteers how to deliver two lesson plans; one on women's health, primarily focusing on reproductive health, and the second about family planning, what factors to think of when thinking about having children and sexual consent.
The aim of this training is to help men understand women and to know how they can be more supportive to their family and female relatives. Discussing the three main causes of maternal mortality and morbidity and how the chances of this can be reduced through planning a family can hopefully improve the health and wellbeing of the women and girls in our communities.
The first pilot session was two weeks ago and it was really encouraging to hear the group's feedback and to learn how we can continue to adjust and improve this training for the future.
So all that's left to say is a massive thank you for your interest and your support. Many so generously gave to this project and none of what we have achieved would have been possible without you! We are so excited to start back again in 2021, and for all the groups we will get to meet.
For now, despite the unusual nature of celebrations this year, we want to wish you a very healthy and merry Christmas and a great start to 2021!