The HAHA beat: Periodic (haha) Updates from our Health and Hygiene Advocacy team

While our industrial-pilot is in motion, our HAHA team (Health and Hygiene Advocacy) team is also laying the groundwork to ensure long-term access to menstrual hygiene education and products (including our SHE LaunchPad) .

To make sure you're up-to-date on all things health and hygiene-related, check out our blog for The HAHA Beat. Here's the latest from our Advocacy and Policy Manager Jackie.

Hi all,

It's been an exciting 2 months for the HAHA team! With Nadia on board, we worked together to lead hygiene education and awareness programs across Rwanda in partnership with VSO. 

Jackie (with mic) leading an advocacy awareness session.
Photo Credit: Perttu Saralampi

Our final awareness program at a youth center in Kigali was one of our most memorable events, namely because we invited 15 students from the Duha Complex School in Rwamagana to perform a skit on menstrual hygiene education! 

The Duha students are one of SHE's biggest fans! We trained senior level students and their teachers about menstrual hygiene and they loved our program so much that they even founded their own SHE student club! 

The Duha students provide menstrual and reproductive health education by writing and performing their own skits that are then performed at school and within the community. It was a great to have youths teach each other via acting!

Bridget Mukanyandwi, a teacher at the Duha School, remarked that the budget allocated for pads was insufficient as not all girls can have access to them. She said some students end up using rags because they can't afford pads and the schools don't receive enough pads for use by their students. 

Mukanyandwi said that most children start their periods around their primary five or at age twelve. She also called upon parents to also play a role in telling their daughters about menstruation early enough and not leave to it all to teachers. 

She also noted that some parents, especially in villages, still hold negative cultural perceptions whereby they believe it's a taboo to talk to their daughters about menstrual health, therefore calling upon them to break the silence and educate their children. 

As a much added benefit to raising national awareness, the New Times Rwanda featured our event and an interview with me. Please check it out:

More eyes and ears at the national policy level are on menstrual hygiene education. This is great news!

Thank You, 


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