Milly Nassolo, a student at Law Development Centre (LDC) in collaboration with a local organization called Maisha Holistic Foundation Africa have mounted a campaign to solicit for support aimed at distributing free underwear for school-going girl children.
Nassolo, who says that girls in rural Uganda drop and miss classes especially during their menstruation periods, has embarked on lobbying for girls in Kagadi District in Western Uganda, who reportedly fail to attend school due to lack of underwear, to at least get underware.
In partnership with #Khana, a US –based organization that offers knickers to girls in Africa, Nassolo, together with Maisha Foundation, recently distributed over 1000 pairs of panties to girls in primary and secondary schools in Kagadi.
“We are seeking to break the burden of shame and empowering the girl child. Our effort is to help girls have the pants they need to hold their pads while in menstruation and as a gear to give them confidence in communities and at school as opposed to when they would have none,” Nassolo explained..
Nassolo added that as stakeholders they will continue to help girls stay in schools, parents have a bigger role to play given the fact that many girls drop out of schools due to lack of basic necessities.
Some of the teachers in Kagadi are supportive of Nassolo’s free knickers for girls campaign.
Speaking to The Sunrise on phone, Kisembo, the Director United Secondary School – Kasokero in Kagadi, said that sometimes girls not only miss classes but also drop out of school over very basic needs.
“It is true girls drop out over basic needs. Sometimes a female student will simply tell you that she never turned up for school because she was in menstruation and she has neither a knicker nor pads and truly some parents can’t afford” he added
Julius Alinda, the Inspector of Schools in Kagadi District, downplayed Nassolo’s cause arguing that it’s not just girls who drop out of school but boys too are affected by numerous challenges beyond lack of underwear.
Milly Nassolo spearheading the cause
“We are not in position to comment as a district but we will wait to receive the research report and have our say. But issues are many, sometimes girls are kept at home to look after their siblings but we believe it is worse with the boys,” he explained.