Promoting menstrual hygiene management awareness in Sri Lanka

GWP Sri Lanka conducted an awareness raising on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) among adolescent girls through a programme organised at a girls’ school, Matale on 5 July as part of their Water Messenger Programme planned under the Core Activities.

The initial plan was to commence the programme to commemorate the Menstrual Hygiene Day falling on 28 May, which had to be postponed due to the surge of unrest following the Easter Sunday attacks on 21 April 2019. Yet, GWP Sri Lanka succeeded in organising the programme at Sujatha Girls' School, Kumbiyangoda, Matale in the Central Province on 5 July with the financial support of National Development Bank Sri Lanka (NDB) and with the dedicated support given by the education and health authorities of the Central Province.

The programme was led by the experts from social, health and education sectors attended by 423 adolescent girls and 23 teachers of the school. The students were given the opportunity to raise questions related to MHM after each session and resource persons ensured to provide clear responses to all of them, as this is a very rear opportunity the girls get in the school setup, given the cultural barriers and the pitfalls in school curriculum.

GWP Sri Lanka initiated the MHM programme in 2014 with the objective of improving the female health and access to education. In addition to the awareness raising programmes GWP Sri Lanka also involded themselves for rebuilding the school sanitation in selected sites through provision of free flowing of water to toilets using rain water harvesting systems. To ensure sustainability of these programmes, GWP Sri Lanka tries to involve the school community in every step of the programme, from site selection to maintenance. Most of these demonstration projects were financed through private sector under cooperate social responsibility (CSR) funding.

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