Days For Girls Uganda Update, Part 2: October
Hello! Last week we started a series on Uganda. Today we bring you Part 2, the October Update. Libby, our Days for Girls Uganda Country Director sent us a recap of the past several months, and we are sharing them piece by piece here on the blog.
Take a look at all that happened in October!
(Again, most of the below came straight from Libby, with our blogging team doing a bit of editing and arranging.)
Social Enterprise Event
We kicked off October with an awesome event hosted by the Segal Family Foundation and Unreasonable East Africa. This social enterprise event invited groups focused on health innovations across Uganda to come together and show off their awesome ideas and work. Here are the highlights:
- We held a small booth showing our kits and program information.
- The event was about four hours long and we could hardly get a moment to breath because we were sharing non-stop!
- So many people were interested in Days for Girls and wanted to hear all about what we were doing.
- We also had a chance to check out some of the other awesome and innovative work being done by organizations across Uganda, from bicycle powered ambulances (Pulse Uganda) to charcoal water filtration systems (Impact Carbon).
The first week of October found us in a district of Kampala called Kyebando. Here, we worked with a small, dedicated group of women who were eager to learn the ins and outs of menstrual hygiene kit making along with liquid and bar soap.
After some invigorating sessions on reproductive health and gender, we got down to the work of making the kits and creating some beautiful liquid and bar soap. The group learned very quickly, and since the training they have already sold a great deal of liquid soap and quite a number of bar soaps. They are working on expanding the market for kits in their communities effectively.
Needs Assessment in Apac District
In October, we had a very special and unique opportunity to join a group of dedicated organizations conducting a needs assessment in Apac District. This is a district in Northern Uganda (although it’s actual location is right about the in the middle of the country).
Apac has missed out on many of the development opportunities in Uganda, and many of the buildings there haven’t been renovated or worked on since the 1960’s, including the district hospital! Rotary International and International Lifeline Fund have worked with the district government to kickstart a program to get universal WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) access in the entire district.
Days for Girls was invited to represent the menstrual hygiene aspect of this project! We are excited at the possibility of working in this district on a large scale with such amazing partners.
Training of Health Workers in Bugiri
October brought many new experiences for our team, and working in Bugiri town was one of the most memorable!
Days for Girls Uganda was hired to conduct a training of health workers at Bugiri hospital focusing on our Kit Business model. The 15 women and 1 man who participated in this training were some of the most dedicated participants we’ve ever worked with. Many of these women were nurses: After working overnight shifts at the hospital, they joined us for the daytime trainings. Their energy was simply incredible!
Since completing the training, they have conducted sensitization programs around their community and have shared the benefits of reusable menstrual hygiene kits with many of their patients at the hospital. We can’t wait to see the amazing things this group will accomplish! (also see image at top of page for more Bugiri health workers!)
International Conference of Fistula Surgeons
The end of October provided us with an important educational and networking opportunity. We hosted a small exhibition at the International Conference of Fistula Surgeons at Hotel Africana in Kampala.
Fistula is a serious injury that generally occurs as a result of obstructed labor, and it is only curable through surgery. Fistula refers to the damage that occurs to either the urethra or rectum after labor or rape trauma, and it causes affected women to be incontinent.
Fistula is completely preventable, but lack of money or access to adequate healthcare leaves low-income women (especially young women) at a high risk. While these women wait for surgery, they need a solution for their incontinence so that they can continue their lives with comfort and dignity.
We attended this conference to learn more about these issues and find out how our reusable kit can help more women affected by Fistula (Days for Girls kits are already used for this purpose around the world.) We learned a great deal and met many interested health workers and doctors.
Thank you again for your continued support! Look at what your work is helping to accomplish around the world!
~Days for Girls blogging team
(stay tuned for Part 3- November!)