#NoMissedSchoolDays is a developmental cooperation project between the Scouts and Guides of Finland, the Uganda Girl Guides Association and the Uganda Scouts Association. It aims to diminish the effect periods have on the drop-out-rates of Ugandan schoolgirls. According to UNESCO, one tenth of girls do not attend school during their period, meaning that the number of school days missed might be as high as 20%. If these numbers are brought down, girls have a better chance of participating actively in civic society, which in turn supports gender equality and quality education. These objectives are also a part of United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
How is the project implemented?
#NoMissedSchoolDays is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and it will be carried out in close collaboration with the three beforementioned Scout and Guide organizations. During the four-year project cycle the aim is to directly reach 12 000 children between the ages of 10-12. However, the project has an even wider impact as up to 51 000 people in total will be introduced to the project through the updated Scouting Programs and other material produced.
In practice, the project is carried out in the Ugandan Guide associations who will first train their own members on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) and gender sensitivity issues. After that the after-school scout and guide groups will be educated on issues concerning menstruation and they will be taught how to make their own reusable pads. Sensitizing the surrounding community and breaking the taboo character of menstruation through community outreach is also essential.
Members of Scouts and Guides of Finland can participate in the project by completing the #NoMissedSchoolDays badge. The badge’s activities contain a board game, quizzes and exchanging letters with a Ugandan scout/guide group.