Giving Girls the Freedom to Live

Working to improve menstrual hygiene management, health, dignity and social interaction amongst girls.

Save the Children South Africa is working to improve menstrual hygiene management, health, dignity and social interaction amongst girls between the ages of 11 and 18 in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. 

Since 2005, we have implemented a number of developmental programmes in the Harry Gwala District, of KwaZulu-Natal, in South Africa. These are rural areas characterised by issues such as unemployment, poverty, HIV/Aids, children in ‘informal foster care’, single parent families, child headed households, school dropout, and teenage pregnancies. 

Challenges faced by girls in their communities

Sanitation facilities are pit latrines; access to water is mostly though community standpipes or from the river and sanitation infrastructure in schools is poor. This has a huge influence on menstrual hygiene management. 

Young girls with limited income also face challenges in acquiring sanitary towels. This results in very unhygienic and undignified methods being used to cope with their menstrual flow. This situation results in them regularly being absent from school and making their monthly menstruation very obvious - impacting on their dignity, privacy, and social interaction.

This project will employ a holistic approach to improve the understanding of menstrual hygiene of these girls. Reusable sanitary towels will be provided through an income generating sewing project for caregivers in KwaZulu-Natal.

To learn more download our new Giving Girls the Freedom to Live infographic.

Other benefits of this project

  • Suitable method of managing menstrual periods so that the daily routines of young girls are no longer negatively impacted
  • Girls, their caregivers and community will have a better understanding of menstruation and how better to support females going through this natural aspect of life
  • Better information for life skills teachers on menstrual hygiene management.

Who makes this project possible

The main donor for this project is Save the Children Australia.  Additional support comes from The Small Project FoundationThe South African Department of Education and the Life Skills Teachers who are offering support to school girls. 

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