Project Luangwa looks to help girls in vulnerable situations in many ways and some are listed below:
Sponsorship for girls
We arrange school sponsorship for vulnerablen girls (and boys) who show potential; some are orphans, the daughters of prostitutes, come from homes where they may be in danger or have issues preventing them from doing well at school. To some girls we offer the chance to board at school and this can improve their academic performance, occasionally quite dramatically. One sponsored girl’s test results showed that she was failing in all subjects with scores of less than 30% but, after just one term in boarding, she achieved passes in the region of 75% to 85%. You can find out more about sponsorship here.
Rural Zambian girls need to believe in themselves; believe they can achieve their potential and do just as well as a boy but to do this they often need encouragement. In 2013 Project Luangwa started a ‘pilot project’ Girls’ Club at Mfuwe Day Secondary School. It was kept small and catered for PL sponsored pupils attending Mfuwe Day Secondary School.
Club members have mixed backgrounds and their varied experiences are typical of girls throughout Africa. But they all have something in common; they are bright, intelligent, caring girls who deserve the chance to achieve their potential.
Encouraging greater self-esteem and confidence is our basic goal and over time we'll expand this pilot club into other schools in the area. You can find out more about the club and what we do here.
In 2012 we commissioned a local professional drama group, SEKA, to produce a play tackling some of the issues facing local girls and gave them a completely free hand on its storyline and content. The group produced a play about school girls pressured into having sex, getting pregnant but eventually returning to school and going to university. These sensitive issues are dealt with using humour and audience participation and the discussions afterwards can bring up some interesting points. SEKA themselves choose the venues to perform the play - usually a school, or village where they have heard rumours of problems. You can sponsor a performance for $150.
To help girls deal with their menstrual hygiene management issues and in order to encourage them to attend lessons instead of staying at home during their period we are developing washable, reusable menstrual hygiene products. We've done plenty of local research as well as looking at how washable pads are accepted in other cultures in Africa and around the world. We've looked at different designs too; and will finally go into production in 2015. To find out more about this project click here.
Special female toilets in schools
We have designed and built two blocks of female hygiene toilets at Mfuwe Secondary School. Each cubicle has a flush toilet, washbasin and can act as a wet room with a small flexible-hose hand held bidet spray (shattaf) attached to the wall enabling girls to wash in total privacy. We are raising funds to build more of these toilets in other schools.
But it is not enough . . . .
It has become clear that in order for girls to do well at school they need access to sanitary wear, to attend school regularly and, most importantly, to believe in themselves. But we have just one small club in one school . . . but we work in an area of over 20 schools with many vulnerable girls who could all benefit from joining a girls' club. Click here to find out how you can help.
|Menstrual Hygiene Management|