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  A Piece Of Sanitary Napkin Raises The Girl's Hope for Education
2021/12/03 | editor
 

Poverty is ranked the number one issue among the top six root causes why children cannot continue to receive education in South Asian countries.  To improve resources and increase the chances for education access are two most important factors to ultimately help children learn skills for living. As a result, they will enhance their abilities to obtain more job opportunities in the future, and be able to detach themselves from poverty.  We invite you to support overseas assistance services to help every financially poor child abroad to continue schooling and grow up safely! 

In Cambodia, women's menstrual periods are called "the coming season."  Menstruation is generally an awkward subject in Cambodian society, while many public schools do not teach menstrual hygiene.  At the same time, among Cambodian schools, 50% of which lack a stable water supply and 33% do not have toilets.  Influenced by all these negative factors, girls' willingness for using toilet during menstruation is reduced while further affects the school attendance rate.  According to UNESCO’s field trip research, the absence of girls’ from attending school are highly correlated to lack of sanitation facilities available in schools. Girls are rather stay home during menstrual period, because of lack of clean sanitary pads or lack of toilets with no place to discard sanitary napkins ( Note 1).  Therefore, in addition to teach menstruation-related knowledge, the coordination of school hardware is also needed.  To popularize education about menstrual knowledge on a broader basis, a small handbook jointly developed by UNESCO and the Ministry of Education of Cambodia, Growth and Changes, has been included in the new national syllabus (Note 2 Note 3) in recent years.

UNESCO specifically designs and publishes the “Growth and Changes” pamphlet for girls
 UNESCO specifically designs and publishes the “Growth and Changes” pamphlet for girls 
UNESCO specifically designs and publishes the “Growth and Changes” pamphlet for girls

Most people cannot afford sanitary napkins

In Cambodia, the price of sanitary napkins is about 4.8 Taiwan dollars (about US$0.16), which is the same as that of in Taiwan. However, the per capita GDP of Cambodia is just 1/20 of Taiwan (Note 4 Note 5). Therefore, sanitary napkins are considered as quite expensive daily necessities.  Women who do not have sanitary napkins can only use rags instead, however, this increases the risk of infection.  Starting in 2018, the Mustard Seed Mission began its rural child sponsorship program in Cambodia.  Over the years, the overseas financial assistance program was mainly devoted to focus on the areas of education and emergency rescue aspects. This year, the subsidy of sanitary napkins for girls has been added to the program. According to a survey conducted by our partnered organization, a total of 20 girls out of 42 sponsored children need sanitary napkins.  Therefore, from July to September of this year, through the assistance of the partner, we began to include the purchase and distribution sanitary napkins to the program.  Each girl is expected to allocate 30 sanitary napkins every month. We hope with such new initiative in place, girls should be worrying less and can replace napkins as regularly necessary every month of a year.

Bi is one of the victims under such circumstance as mentioned above. She is 16 years old and is in the seventh grade. She comes from Poregaba County, Ta Keo Province.  Recently, Bi received a sanitary napkin funded by the Mustard Seed Mission. In the past, she would only use sanitary napkins for 3-5 days during menstrual period. One piece during daytime, no extra piece left available to use at night.  Now, after getting our sanitary napkins, she can change three pieces a day to make her feel clean and comfortable. It also reduces the risk of infection and can feel more at ease when she returns to school after the epidemic is over.

The Mustard Seed Mission hopes to provide extra help in addition to the existing education programs, so that the girls can overcome such unspeakable embarrassment. 

The Mustard Seed Mission distributed sanitary napkins in Cambodia
The Mustard Seed Mission distributed sanitary napkins in Cambodia
 

 【NOTES】

 


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你要盡心、盡性、盡 意、盡力愛主 ─ 你的神。其次就是說:要愛人如己。(馬可福音12章30-31節)

You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this, You will love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:30-31)

 

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