31 March 2021

31 March 2021Why a ‘Girl Friendly’ toilet means more time in school

Without access to safe, hygienic toilet facilities, many girls around the world do not go to school when they are menstruating.

To avoid missing school some girls hide used cloths in their pockets while others do not eat or drink during the day, making it impossible to learn effectively and leading to bowel and bladder problems later in life. Girls who change in the open, away from school, run the risk of sexual harassment.

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Girls need a toilet space which is separate from boys – or they will not feel safe, they will avoid school and their education will suffer.

D.E.B Primary School in Western Kenya’s Bungoma County has over 1,000 disadvantaged students – orphans or from vulnerable families. Its toilet facilities were woefully inadequate and a number of toilets had to be closed due to a lack of resources and heavy rains. While overcrowding of the remaining toilets raised health and hygiene issues.

With the generous support of St James’ Place Charitable Foundation, Ace Africa constructed two new toilet blocks at the school. One was for girls-only, with two latrines, a separate washing room, two handwashing stations and an incinerator to dispose of sanitary products.

As part of the programme 30 of the most vulnerable girls at the school received a year’s supply of sanitary towels. There were also sessions by specially trained teachers on sexual health, rights, good hygiene and nutrition. A new boys block was built with handwashing stations, ensuring the girls toilet stayed exactly that.

Girls receiving sanitary towel packs

The girls of D.E.B primary now have a safe and hygienic space to manage their menstrual hygiene. The project assured female students could attend safely, with dignity, and no longer miss vital days of school every month.

Ace Africa is a small charity making a big impact. Our supporters have changed the lives of 1,833,307 of the most vulnerable people in Kenya and Tanzania. African based and African led, we build resilient, inclusive communities. Working with Ace Africa is personal and rewarding. Our aim is to help you to achieve your objectives, and get you as close as we can to the lives you are changing.  Contact david.evans@ace-africa.org to discuss how we can work together.