Hundreds of vulnerable children from Katanga have reminded the first lady and minister of education Janet Kataha Museveni about her government pledge to construct a sanitary pads factory in the country as a deliberate strategy of supplying sanitary pads to all young girls across the country who continue facing many hygiene challenges.
The shocking development came to light on Friday when the ‘Hope for Katanga kids project’ organization locally hosted the world menstrual day celebrations which event falls 28th day of each year that was held at Katanga Kimwanyi playgrounds. with hajjati Asia Mbajja Namusoke from People in need Agency [PINA] a local NGO striving to empower vulnerable communities being the chief guest.
The theme of the day was ‘breaking the stigma in teenage girls as they encounter their menstrual periods’ is meant to draw global attention by challenging governments to ensure that the girl child is given access to free sanitary pads as they join schools which is part of their hygiene needs however research reveals that millions of parents and family caretakers in the countryside have failed to raise funds to secure pads for their girls due to the Covid-19 pandemic which continues pounding their pockets.
The kids numbering in their hundreds from Katanga village in Wandegeya parish Kawempe division were joined by dozens of other excited women as they matched through the locality with messages reminding the government and particularly the first lady about her earlier pledge that government would construct a sanitary pads factory.
The kids demanded to know in which district would the factory be built, how much in costs of construction and how many pads would be produced coupled with when would first production kick off as an assurance from the government because many projects had collapsed due to lack of implementation.
The event was attended by many boys of whom were told never to embarrass the girls while at school whenever the periods strike but to kindly coexist with them by urging them to know that periods are a normal natural occurrence in life and not an embarrassment as many girls would imagine of which statement gave full confidence to the girls and women who had earlier on laughed off the event with many claiming it was an embarrassment to the girl child movement.
Some of the girls in their glaring testimonies demanded that government through the ministry of health should intensify the campaign of distributing pads exclusively to local communities especially giving them to community based NGOs or village health teams [VHTs] of government of whom they claim are much closer to the beneficiary girls.
They wondered as to why government was busy distributing free mosquito nets and other related medical items like condoms by placing them among bars and other community recreation facilities and yet without clear reasons leaving out the pads which are very important to the health and life of young girls who account for over 600million across Sub Sahara Africa and Asia region in dropping out of school due to embarrassment as orchestrated by the sudden eruption of the menstrual periods among individuals.
The executive director Hope for Katanga kids project Mugema Michael Jackson told the crowds that their organization which is based in Katanga has been responsible for bringing together street kids, orphans, kids living with HIV AIDS Pandemic and kids living among poor communities all numbering to 150 with 60 of them being housed within their dormitories that have been set up with funding support from well-wishers.
Mugema however noted that they in 2019 launched a 500m=/ fundraiser campaign appeal to be able to construct a permanent home in Lwengo district within the next five years as they would relocate the Katanga base out of the city suburbs given that their kids still watch nasty behaviors as orchestrated by the community locals like smoking of opium, zonking in booze and prostitution games which are not good for such a young population.