Making School a Place for Girls
Girls Making a Difference in Their Schools
Water borne diseases, teenage pregnancy, exclusion from school due to poor sanitation conditions - these are just a few of the challenges facing young people, particularly girls, in rural Nepal. This is why INA and our partners are working with secondary schools to establish health clubs. School health clubs are made up of a group of young people aged 12-15 who are committed to bringing about change for girls and boys. Not only in the area of health, but also in the opportunity to access education on an equal basis, and to be treated fairly and equitably at school and at home.
An Outspoken Advocate
The club members at Inshaneshor Secondary School have run Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) campaigns at school and in the community. Soap is now available for regular handwashing. They are working on a plan to manage waste and make their village ‘open defecation free’. Even so, Sima* is a young person who strives for more. At age 15, she is an outspoken advocate for the education of girls and as a member of the school health club she is happy with the change happening, but says it’s not enough.
Sima told INA that her school has 700 students but no access to clean drinking water, that the school toilets are inadequate for menstruating girls and that many girls have no sanitation pads anyway so have no choice but to stay at home.
Sima’s highlighting of these issues has now opened the way for us to work with Inshaneshor health club to access filters for clean water, to come up with simple solutions to make the girls toilets more private and to teach girls and young women how to make re-usable sanitary pads. With a little help, the young people of Nepal are creating a healthier, fairer future for girls and boys, men and women.
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* name changed for privacy