In September 2018, the Be One Percent community came together and raised £6,318.10 to support Village Water with their menstrual health projects that are helping girls in Western Province, Zambia to go to school – regardless of the time of the month.
Once a girl reaches puberty, she can expect to spend 52 days a year menstruating. It should be a normal part of being female, but it’s estimated that 1 in 10 girls across Africa miss school during their period. Myths, stigma and a lack of basic sanitary products and washrooms in schools are the main reasons they stay at home. Many end up dropping out of school altogether- part of the reason that Zambian women are 20% more likely to be illiterate than men.
Every year of secondary education increases a girls’ future earning power by 18%.
The project is now complete and we’re proud to say that our 1% reached 3361 girls across 6 schools with:
1. Education, where teachers and the wider community were trained to become MHM champions, directing their new knowledge to the school children to drive change
2. Sanitary towel workshops, where pupils were taught by professional tailors to make eco-friendly towels from local products
3. Disposable towels for emergency use
The schools involved reported a 63% drop in absenteeism due to menstruation with really positive feedback from the people that matter the most, The pupils.