AGAHE in partnership with WaterAid in Pakistan has been implementing project based on improved WASH facilities for children and menstrual hygiene management for adolescent girls (in-out of school).
For this purpose a number of girls have been involved at school level in order to promote health and hygiene at school and to ensure that the facilities have been taken care of and are maintained effectively. School level interventions have further been guarded by MHM groups at schools so that the girls may ensure ownership to the intervention and take care of the facility that has been provided for their use. These MHM groups are well trained and capacitated around their responsibilities so that the intervention may sustain longer and benefit coming generations.
Nearly at every school, groups have been maintaining these girls’ friendly toilet themselves with minimum support from caretakers in terms of disposing of the sanitary materials weekly.
Based on the social mobilization of AGAHE team in these schools, charts have been placed at appropriate places in national language so that the girls who are not a part of the MHM group may also get to know the responsibilities of these groups and ensure that they are doing their tasks as assigned.
There is a wonderful urge among girls to learn the ways through which they can promote their health and hygiene related issues at earlier stages and get involve with AGAHE team in their health and hygiene sessions.
One member of MHM group said, “We are hopeful to continue this spirit in future to ensure that these facilities are kept clean and are used properly- we are thankful to AGAHE for this great step which was only a dream in the communities like ours and the social mobilization team who have involved us with them”
A girl at school said, “Interesting thing about these toilet is its being disability inclusive that may help any disable girl who cannot join school due to fear of managing menstruation related issues. Proper way for the disposal of materials has also contributed in cleanliness”
Another girl shared her views, “We used to stay at home and avoid attending any event (cultural/religious) during these days, my mother also did not know anything except telling me that I should not bathe in these days which may cause serious health issues, avoid drinking and eating mild and cold things but warm milk and eggs. The health and hygiene sessions conducted at our school opened new doors of understanding for me around eating and drinking habits, using clean and disposable sanitary napkins to avoid any skin infection and viral diseases and change it after every 4th– 5th hour. I’m thankful to AGAHE for these sessions and promoting WASH and MHM in our schools and communities”
A focal teacher of MHM said, “Girls used to be hesitant about asking the solution of any issues during this phase but AGAHE’s social mobilization has enabled girls to talk about these issues and discuss within teams and as groups to find better solutions- Absentees among girls have been reduced to nearly zero due to the intervention of toilets for girls as most of the girls used to stay at home during these days which had bad impact on their studies in the long run”