over the moon project

supporting access to education for girls in rural uganda


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The Power of Your Support

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photo credit: Catie Corbin

As you think about whether to support the project, please consider how Over the Moon could use your donation:

  • $10 would cover the cost of one set of 8 reusable menstrual pads designed to last for at least one year, allowing one girl to focus on her studies without fear of embarrassment from menstrual accidents.
  • $15 would cover one set of pads plus proper underwear, which girls need in order to use the pads.
  • $50 could provide pads for five girls!
  • $150 could provide ten girls with pads and underwear, covering them for at least one year.
  • $200 would cover pads for 20 girls, or the cost of educational materials and books to provide all Akiya girls with year-round access to information on menstrual hygiene, sexual health education, and gender empowerment.
  • $400 would cover the courier and transportation cost of one delivery of pads and underwear from Kampala to Akiya school or $450 could provide pads and underwear to 30 girls!

We have worked hard to ensure that your donations will have the maximum impact on the Akiya girls. All personnel involved with this project are volunteering their time. Our single largest cost, accounting for more than 96% of our budget, is the purchase and delivery of the pads, underwear, and educational materials/books.

How many Akiya girls can you help?  Please donate today!


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Fundraising Milestone!

Today we’re doing a happy dance because we have raised more than 25% of our goal! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support. Please help us keep up the momentum by donating today.


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WASH United Welcomes Over the Moon as a Menstrual Hygiene Day Partner!

Yes, believe it or not, there is such a thing as Menstrual Hygiene Day! Why? Because menstrual hygiene is a global human rights issue!

Menstruation carries significant stigma and brings challenges that affect the lives of women and girls around the world in terms of education, employment, health, and emotional wellbeing. Girls in Uganda face particular challenges related to menstruation.

Over the Moon is proud to be an official partner of Mentrual Hygiene Day 2015, and we are grateful to WASH United for welcoming us to the network. We’re working to improve menstrual hygiene for girls in Lira district and you can help!


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Why Catie Got Involved

Board member Catie Corbin talks about why she got involved:

Girls in Uganda

photo credit: Catie Corbin

In 2007, I took my first of what would become many trips to East Africa. I traveled to Uganda to work with young families and school children who were displaced from their homes and living in camps. It did not take long for me to fall in love with Uganda – with the colors, with the songs, with the dance, and with the smiles of the children. The Ugandans I met were very loving and quickly welcomed me into their country and into their villages. I visited many schools all around Lira, where the Over the Moon project is based. The young girls who I met in school were so full of life and had such high expectations for themselves. They worked hard in school, on top of caring for younger siblings and doing many chores for the benefit of their family.

It is hard to imagine that some of these vivacious girls might not return to school when they start menstruating. They may start by missing a few days, but then they might miss a few weeks. Their confidence begins to fall and so will their learning.

For 10 years now, I have worked in education in developing countries around the world. I believe not only that education can lead to better opportunities and social and financial stability for individuals and families, but also that learning makes people genuinely happy. Without learning, people lose hope. If these special girls drop out of school, how will their vision of their futures change? How will their dreams change? When these girls are empowered to make the choice to stay in school, and when the barriers of embarrassment are broken down – there is no telling what these wonderful girls will do.

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Catie with students at a rural school in Uganda

In this globalized world, it is important for each of us to do our part in making sure each and every person has the opportunity to become the best version of themselves. That is why I support Over the Moon. Please help in giving girls that chance.


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Word from Our Partner in Lira

We recently heard from Ms. Betty Olet from the Lango Development Forum, who will assist in the delivery of pads and workshops at Akiya Primary School. Betty just visited Akiya and here is what she reported back:

Dear Gillian,

I am so happy to learn that you are joining hands with Juliet to raise funds for the girl child in our home area. The project you have chosen is a very good one and I can assure you that the need is great. In an hour long interaction with the students, I got first hand information on how difficult their situation is…

I would like to appreciate what you are intending to do to improve the lives of these young girls. They were so excited about the prospect of receiving sanitary pads and panties. These are items we never imagine living without but these girls go without them and this usually puts their lives on hold for the duration of the period. I pray that you will one day visit the school to comprehend the magnitude of what you are doing for them… May all that you wish for come true and May the Lord bless your efforts…

Yours sincerely,

Betty

Thank you, Betty, for your dedication to this project. Please lend your support today!


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Understanding the Problem of Menstrual Absenteeism

Menstruation is a natural part of life and a common experience for women and girls around the world. Many of us are privileged enough that our time of the month is nothing more than a minor inconvenience.  But practical concerns, in addition to shame and stigma, make menstruation a serious challenge and a barrier to education for girls in Lira district in northern Uganda.

Without the proper sanitary supplies, girls are fearful of staining their clothes and being mocked by boys. Instead, they stay home and miss out on class and exams, which puts them at risk of falling behind and eventually dropping out of school. A 2013 study by a Dutch aid group indicated that half of Ugandan school girls reported missing 1-3 days of school per month due to menstruation. That means girls are missing up to 24 school days per year. Accumulating menstrual absences make it harder for girls to stay in school at the same rate as boys, as Juliet herself observed at Akiya.

An article from the Guardian shed some light on the situation, quoting Lira girls in their own words:

“I used to use cloths that I would cut from my old T-shirts to keep the blood from staining my dresses, but they were not enough and blood would still stain my clothes… Boys used to laugh at me and I eventually simply stayed home whenever my periods started.” – Joan Anyango, a 16-year-old student in Ayito primary school in Lira

“When I started menstruating, I had many hard days,” she says. “I could not get myself any materials to use to stop myself from soiling my clothes. It was better for me to stay at home rather than go through that shame at school.” – Auma Milly, Lira district, had to repeat a year at primary school after she missed her final exams because of her period

Various aid groups have undertaken a range of approaches to the problem, but a comprehensive solution has yet to be reached. One day, we hope to see universal access to wash facilities and sanitary supplies so that women and girls are free from the constraints of menstruation. In the mean time, we’ve created Over the Moon because the girls of Akiya Primary School deserve immediate access to reliable menstrual pads so they can focus on their studies instead of worrying about menstrual woes. We designed the project based on input from the community and local leaders so that it best meets the needs of the girls.

You can help by donating today!