About 1/10 girls in Africa miss class or drop out entirely because of their periods. In Ivory Coast, only 53% of girls finish secondary school. Women with no access to education are at a higher risk of early/forced marriage, unwanted pregnancies, economic dependency and social exclusion. An education means more career possibilities and a greater chance for financial independence and decision making. In other words, periods matter.
Save the Children works with six schools in the Gbêkê region, in both rural and urban areas. The project will have a positive direct impact on the lives of 3 929 girls the first year and 10 131 students in total when including boys and new students that will benefit from some initiatives. The project also involves teachers, families and the surrounding community and we hope that the impact will continue to spread far beyond our direct efforts. For every bag of SYD sold, we donate to the project. We’ve already donated 1M SEK to get it started.
Every month period kits are distributed to girls who cannot afford them. Pads are also available in the school office and in the classroom. We’re rehabilitating and building 36 toilets in total — six in each school. The toilets are safe with locks, equipped with a sink and running water, soap and disposing solutions with regular maintenance. Through our project, Save the Children colleagues in Ivory Coast are facilitating training in topics like puberty, and menstrual health and hygiene. Some initiatives also involve raising awareness within families and the surrounding community to get the much-needed period conversations started.