19 November 2018, Lindi – Vodacom Tanzania Foundation has today in collaboration with T-MARC carried out at an outreach program at Tulieni Primary school in Lindi where over 1,700 adolescent girls were reached with menstrual hygiene management (MHM) and sexual reproductive health education coupled with provision of sanitary pads.
This is part of an ongoing project dubbed Hakuna Wasichoweza run collaboratively by Vodacom Tanzania Foundation and TMARC since 2012 aiming at empowering adolescent girls to reach their full potential through provision of affordable sanitary pads along with menstrual management and sexual reproductive health education through outreach sessions and SMS.
According to a 2015 report issued by Tanzania Water and Sanitation Network (TAWASANET), about 75% of schoolgirls acknowledged that menstruation impacts their performance in school and UNESCO estimates that young girls miss 20% of school per year.
Speaking at the sanitary pad distribution event, Jacquiline Materu, Vodacom Head of Communication & PR said “Vodacom Tanzania Foundation is specifically focused on projects that help women and girls across the country improve their health, access better education and create new enterprises. We commend the government decisions to scrap tax on sanitary pads in the country and, as Vodacom, we will continue to support interventions that address this particular challenge that hinders young girls from their right to a quality education.’
The Hakuna Wasichoweza project was designed to bring a difference in school attendance and performance by equipping girls with the necessary skills and knowledge about reproductive health, menstrual hygiene management, sexuality and the need to delay onset of sexual debut. In the past 6 years, the project has reached over 1,000 adolescent girls and more than 10,000 sanitary pads distributed since the partnership with T-MARC.
“We have observed an improvement in attendance and overall performance among girls in this project compared to other adolescent girls. This girls have an opportunity to reach their full potential and we endeavour to reach out to more girls in the marginalised regions where menstrual education is limited while taboos and misconceptions catalyse the problem through Vodacom Tanzania Foundation support” said Hamid Al-Alawy coordinator, T-MARC Tanzania