Supporting girls to stay in school by raising awareness on Menstrual Hygiene Management, and providing education on Menstrual Hygiene Management to both boys and girls and donating sanitary pads to girls.
Project status: Completed (2014-2018)
34 Secondary Schools
The issue we’re addressing
In Tanzania, girls face several challenges that hamper their engagement with school. It is estimated that only half of the female students enrolled in government secondary schools are able to complete their education. The reasons for this high level of dropouts are mainly related to poverty, long distances from home to school, early marriages, early pregnancies and school absenteeism due to menstruation. Indeed, the lack of access to menstrual hygiene products and the lack of knowledge about puberty and menstruation are very common problems. According to the results of a baseline survey that we conducted in 2 schools in Dar es Salaam:
28% of girls miss school due to menstruation,
Only 7% of girls reported being able to talk about the topic to any trusted adult,
14% of girls argued that their families could not afford to buy sanitary pads.
Additionally, schools' sanitation facilities are not adequate and thus do not support girls education, especially during menses
To face these challenges, we have created an integrated approach, structured in three key actions: Jali Training, Jali Pads and Jali Clubs. Designed and implemented by Tai Tanzania, the project relied on international and local volunteers, corporate partners, NGO partners, activists and other key stakeholders.
Youth Clubs to promote
leadership among students and ensure the sustainability of the program.
Facilitating Menstrual Hygiene Management through the donation of sanitary pads to girls and production of reusable sanitary pads.
Sexual and Reproductive Health education to boys and girls in underprivileged secondary schools.
Jali was launched as an event-based project aiming to teach girls in rural secondary schools about menstruation and to distribute hygiene boxes with sanitary pads, soap, and underwear.
More than 480 students were reached directly through the teaching program and much more through our events, such as Africa4Her, National Menstrual Awareness Day and Climb Kilimanjaro for Girls.
For 2018, our goal was to expand our activities to other regions in Tanzania, especially to rural areas where the challenges faced by girls are more severe. We expanded to Ifunda.
By the end of 2015, through our experience in the schools and through a research revision the revision of research, we realized that boys should also be involved in the training because they also need to be a part of the solution.
The project increased its scope from 3 to 10 schools, in regions from Dar es Salaam, to Morogoro and Ifunda, with a pilot in Dodoma. We were able to collect and deliver more than 10,000 sanitary pads to underprivileged girls.
Sexual and Reproductive health
The Jali Training consisted of a 10-session educational module about sexual and reproductive health and gender equality. It was that is delivered to government secondary schools students, by teams of international and local volunteers. Our target beneficiaries were are boys and girls in Form 1, which means 13-15 years old.
The curriculum includes the following topics:
Health and Hygiene
Growth and Puberty
Pregnancy and Births
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
The training endeds with a closing event, where an invited speaker can shared their experience with the students. From what we have observed, getting to know courageous and brave women from different fields of activity has can have a positive influence on students, by providing them role models from whom they can get inspired. In this closing events, all the girls also receive sanitary pads.
Ensuring knowledge sustainability
After the training module, we created a Jali Youth Club in every school where we work.
These clubs aim to:
contribute to the sustainability of the project, as the students continue working on the topics covered by our module
create a context where the youth can be decision-makers the protagonists of the needed solutions
promote self-awareness skills among the students, namely leadership, teamwork, problem-solving and creativity.
Jali Youth Clubs are composed of interested students and are leaded by champions, who were chosen by their fellow colleagues, based on the ideas they presented to improve the schools in terms of health, hygiene and youth participation. These clubs are still in their pilot phase but soon we will have a comprehensive framework of its operating mode.
Allowing material sustainability
We aim to empower adolescent girls to reach their full potential, thus, we provide girls with sanitary pads
For the past 4 years, different methodologies have been used to collect disposable sanitary pads. , Over 12,000 pads were distributed to more than 10 government secondary schools. This was done through individual and corporate donations, crowdfunding and online campaigns.
Our key challenge has been the sustainability of sanitary pads. We wish to provide students in an affordable, sustainable and environmentally friendly way.
We had a vision of building a Jali reusable pads production center which was to be the sustainable solution of the problem. Girls were to be trained on how to produce reusable sanitary pads, so they can produce and engage in mass production. In such ways, they will be able to acquire an income and gain independence, as well as professional skills.
Through the project and the collaboration with our partners, we were able to produce and distribute 130 reusable sanitary pads to students during the piloting phase; This gave us a positive response and showed the need to produce pads for secondary students.