We never stop learning at Hearts & Hope! Recently, we were introduced to an organization dedicated to supporting girls around the world in a unique way. Their vision is to provide every girl and woman in the world with ready feasible access to quality sustainable hygiene and health education by 2022. Check out their website here.
It is something we occasionally hear about - girls missing a week of school because they don't have feminine hygience products that will allow them to leave home. Missing 25% of your school days is a lot and understandably can have a huge impact on the quality of the education a girl can receive in a third-world country.
I recently asked our Assistant Primary Sponsorship Coordinator in Uganda about the need for this kind of support and the education that comes along with it. I specifically asked her about the great detail that Day for Girls encourages trainers to share with the girls. Her response, in her words:
Yes Ma'am, it is okay because by the end of the day what we will teach them is exactly what they will experience in the end so, it's better for them to have someone explain it to them in details. Most girls in the villages are tricked by boys and men into having sexual relations with just buying them a chapati, a candy, etc. These girls don't just have sexual relations because they love those boys, it's because they've bought them something cool or, something they've never had in their lives and some get lucky and don't get pregnant but some end up getting pregnant.
There is one example of a girl who was on sponsorship; she got pregnant at a very tender age not just because she was in love, it's because she was tricked into it. Who knows how long the boy who got her pregnant sweet talked her into having sexual relations with him. Nobody knows. He might have started sweet talking her at the age of eleven or twelve until she gave in and got pregnant . So, it is very much okay for us to go into more details with these girls because I believe and know that it will benefit them in the end.
Staggering. I appreciate Mariah's candor and passion for helping these girls.
Hearts & Hope will be taking 100 hygiene kits with us to Uganda in late January. The kits were sewn and assembled by a group in Rolla, Missouri. (Follow them on Facebook: Days for Girls Rolla MO Team) . We will be taking advantage of the skills of an OB/GYN, nurse practitioner and a PE/Health teacher on the next mission team! It will be an awesome opportunity to do some training with the girls and young women.
We look forward to addressing another issue experienced by girls in Uganda and providing one more way for them to obtain a quality education. If you would like to help, you can make a donation here and include "Days for Girls Project" in the Comments.
The following is a story sent to us by our Assistant Sponsorship Coordinator, Mariah.
Lydia Bugonzi is a 12 year old girl in primary five who enjoys netball and wants to be a teacher after her studies. Lydia was inspired to become a teacher in the future by her class teacher she loves so much. She wants to thank Lynn Sheerin for sponsoring her and sending with Julie Stroder a pack for her each time she visits Uganda.
Lydia is very happy to be on the sponsorship program because of the privileges she now gets; her tuition is paid in time, she gets a school uniform, socks and shoes every year with lunch everyday at school. She used to go back home for lunch before she got sponsored but now she doesn’t have to, all thanks to Lynn. She would also walk from home to school bare foot but she now has shoes “Thank you very much Lynn, may God bless you and your family”, said Lydia.
Hearts & Hope is a nonprofit organization focused on unlocking the potential of people in Uganda through relationships with people in the US.