World Vision Malawi is implementing Keeping Girls in School Project in Chigodi, Lilongwe, to promote girl education.
World Vision Education Technical Coordinator for Central Zone, Makayiko Kayimba told members of the Lilongwe District Executive Committee recently that the project aims at increasing school attendance and retention among girls and boys.
“We have observed that lack of sanitary facilities for girl learners that have started their menstrual cycles is one of the major reasons why many girls drop out of school,” said Kayimba.
She said the project is, among other things, improving sanitary conditions for 2,500 adolescent girls in six primary schools and one Community Day Secondary School in the area.
She observed that most girls lacked basic needs such as school uniforms and text books and in most cases, parents were unable to provide these because they lack resources while in some cases they fail to provide because they do not see the importance of education.
Kayimba said the project is also raising awareness among local leaders and Mother Groups on the importance of increased school attendance and retention among girls.
Under the three-year project which is being funded by World Vision New Zealand, desks and a tailoring machine which will be used for making sanitary pads have been provided while girl-friendly toilets have been constructed in the schools where the project is being implemented.
Chigodi area has one of the highest school drop-out rates in Lilongwe district with 12.5 percent of learners dropping out of primary schools in the 2014/2015 school calendar year alone, according to a recent baseline study.