“The fighting in our home country separated me from my family, I don’t know if they are still alive, I was left alone with no one to tell my challenges, no one to take care of my needs such as sanitary pads I have to use a piece of cloth, but also cleaning it is a challenge because we don’t have enough water and soap in this camp” Christine is 14 years old.
Accordingly, 70% of mothers in Bolore and Pagirinya refugee settlements think periods are dirty and 66% of girls and women manage periods without toilets. Handling periods in a refugee settlement is hugely complex, influenced by differences in sociocultural norms, with barely no education to young girls on how to experience their periods, what they can do while menstruating, what they can use to absorb menstrual blood and how they dispose the material, whether and from whom they can seek information and help.
When a girl faces obstacles in managing her menses in a healthy way, she is at risk for infection, her self-esteem and self-confidence suffer, she may remain absent from school during her period, or worse still, drop out of school altogether upon reaching puberty. Over time, these negative effects add up, preventing a young girl from achieving her full potential and having a healthy, productive life.
Vac-Net and WGEF is responding to this crisis by supplying free Lucky Girls Sanitary Pads to young girls and women in Bolore and Pagirinya refugee settlements. These 2 settlements host 36,000 people of which 72% are young girls, women and children between 9 to 18 years.
Vac-Net and WGEF has supported 300 young girls and women with free Lucky Girl Sanitary Pads, and plans to continue making monthly supplies to refugees leaving in these 2 Refugee settlements in Ajduman District.