2018年1月20日土曜日

Field visit to monitor the lemon grass project in Uganda

Report on the field trip in Uganda

Maiko Ohnishi from Global Bridge Network (GBN) from Global Bridge Network visited a Japan Fund for GlobalEnvironment supported project which deals in expansion of lemon grass cultivation and environmental protection in Uganda.

Ohnishi visited the youth who previously participated in the lemongrass cultivation and environmental protection training.

This picture shows the lemongrass he cultivated after the completing the training.
 
Youth who took a training



Youth started lemon grass growing in his area
 The land is filled with gravel and rocks but lemongrass is a very strong and when properly cultivated, can grow in between stones and rocks. 

Lomongrass growing between the rocks
This helps in preventing soil degradation which finally leads to environmental conservation.  


Somkes burning cultivated area by local residents 
On the other hand, the smoke seen at the background of above picture shows the residents burning land including cultivated areas. Burning of land leads to environmental degradation and from here we can tell that the general public still lacks knowledge about it. 


Local NGO, SORAK CEO showing how to cut grass for youth

Such a small child helping

Increase in environmental protection awareness training is therefore very important in the future. (This project includes teaching children in local schools about the environment)

SORAK buys the lemon grass after it is harvested. The first harvest is done just 3 weeks after planting and this batch is bought at about 100 USD. This 100 USD is enough to send one child to school for a year.



SORAK owns lemongrass distillator

Putting lemongrass

View from the front

Build a fire

 
Essential lemongrass oil 
 Lemongrass oil is extracted from the lemongrass at the distillery owned by SORAK and the sales are used to improve (household) income.  
 
The youth who receive training go on to cultivate lemongrass which results in both environmental protection and income improvement. This project therefore has a positive impact and GBN will continue to support it.  Thank you!

Next report will be about the "environmental education and awareness campaigns" conducted in local schools for children 

*This project is supported by Japan Fund for Global Environment of the Environmental Restoration (JFGE) and by Environmental Restoration and Conservation Agency (ERCA)



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2018年1月17日水曜日

Report on the session ’Training of Youth & Women in lemon grass growing and environmental protection’

Hello, this is Global Bridge Network (GBN)!
This time, we are going to report on ‘Environmental Protection through Expanding Lemon grass growing and Education in Uganda’
Actually, this is our first report regarding an Environmental Program in Uganda!



Objectives of the program
1.     To train Youth and Women to protect and conserve the environment through involving them in lemongrass growing.
2.     To discuss possible ways regarding environmental protection by laying strategies and ways of growing lemongrass.

4 trainings in total (Youth and Women 2 times respectively) were held in two different areas in Mubende. A total of 101 youth plus 99 women participated!
The trainings were also attended by the sub county chief and the chairperson which makes us believe that these people have a strong interest on environmental protection in their area.

Date of sessions
Training for Women20th April & 26th May 2017
Training for Youth27th April & 1st June, 2017

Contents of the sessions are as follows,
Training course for the youth
      Sensitize them about the importance of lemongrass growing and promote a strong environmental conservation by the use of laws
      The need for the youth to know their current role in protecting the environment and the importance in engaging the youth in lemon grass growing

Training course for the women
      Sensitize them about the importance of lemongrass growing and it being an income generating activity plus a measure to improve livelihoods.
      Enlighten them about the highest levels of unemployment amongst women and the need for them to involve in environmental protection i.e. women’s maximum efforts to environmental restoration through using approaches like lemon grass growing.

These trainings successfully led to discuss pertinent issues causing the massive environmental deterioration in their area among participants including the sub county leading team, the women and youth. The trainings also enabled members to find a new direction in regards to considering lemongrass growing as a best practice towards environmental conservation and as an income generating activity as well.

One youth leader was quoted saying, “This training has really opened my eyes as I didn’t know that lemon grass can protect the environment and as well enable me earn money for a living.  I will plant it as soon as the planting tuffs are distributed.”

By implementing these trainings, we have faith that the youth and women will realize that lemongrass growing is effective for environmental protection and income generation!  

Please review the details in the reports below,

Next report will be about the field visit made by Ohnishi from GBN to monitor this project through visiting a youth who conducted lemon grass growing.


Thank you so much and see you soon!

*This project is supported by Japan Fund for Global Environment of the Environmental Restoration (JFGE) and by Environmental Restoration and Conservation Agency (ERCA)



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2018年1月4日木曜日

Report on a baseline survey and impact assessment

A Happy New Year


Global Bridge Network (GBN) has started 2 new projects with our partner, SORAK Development Agency in Uganda in 2017 and all projects are to kept on going till 2018. We really appreciate all your kindly cooperation and supports.

We would like to report about the baseline survey and impact assessment of the “Improvement of school environment to combat Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) challenges to Stop Adolescent Girls’ School Dropouts in Uganda”.


The baseline survey was conducted in April, 2017 so as not only to understand the current situations but also be able to implement this project as much effective as possible.

Assessment ongoing at St. Josephs’ Kibalinga Primary school (Baseline survey)

We also conducted the impact assessment in October, 2017 to evaluate the completed project and it would help to propose suggestions for the next project in 2018.
Through these reports, we hope you to understand the reason why we conducted this project and find the effectiveness. We would highly appreciate it if you could also check other activity reports.

Baseline Survey
This survey was made for clarification of current situations about improper Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM), lack of teacher and parents’ understanding, and support from the government which was done through interviewing school girls who already experienced menstruation.

A quoted part of the report.
“School administrators, teachers and senior women teachers and school children agree that there is an urgent need to supply MHM commodities. It was also stated that these MHM commodities should come along with training, washroom infrastructure supply and involving female parents in the making of reusable sanitary pads in order to make the activity acceptable and sustainable.”

Please see more details!

Impact Assessment
The MHM and reusable sanitary pad making were conducted to school girls and boys, teachers and guardians. We would like to introduce some parts of the results of these training as follows.

Discussion at Lwawuna Primary school (Impact Assessment)
 31.3% of the respondents confessed to have learnt and had started putting into practice the basis on proper MHM.
 37.5% of the respondents were proud to have acquired skills on how to make reusable pads and to use them.
 Girls never used to talk to their parents and guardians about menstrual issues. However after the training 6.3% acknowledged to have started opening up to their guardians. After the training, it was noted that girls and their parents have started open discussions about sexual reproductive health and menstrual hygiene management issues. Even parents who had not participated had learnt from their friends that they have to have open discussions with their daughters and had started disclosing.

Besides, the boys’ behavior changed towards menstruation. After the sensitization, they were no longer laughing at girls. They helped with sweaters and jackets in case of an accident and when they see a girl with a stained dress they ask other girls to help or inform a female teacher.

School attendance during menstruation was also improved. Missing school in the past 3 months because of menstruation periods: 95% of the female pupils who were interviewed noted that they were no longer missing school because of periods.

Please see more details!

With these results, we believe that this project could contribute to the improvement of educational environment among school girls. We will try to continue and expand this project. We really appreciate your endless support and cooperation!

GBN hopes for happiness to you all and as well wish you a great 2018!!
Thank you very much.


*This project is supported by Lush Japan Co., Ltd.




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2017年12月30日土曜日

Field Trip to monitor the project in Uganda

Report on a Field Trip


“Improvement of school environment to combat Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) challenges to Stop Adolescent Girls’ School Dropouts in Uganda

August, 2017





Maiko Ohnishi from Global Bridge Network (GBN) had a visit to Mubende, Uganda on August 2017, to monitor the project which has been conducted by SORAK development agency, GBN’s partner, and local NGO in Uganda.



I visited 3 targeted schools with the SORAK monitoring team and we were able to interact with a total of 12 involving 10 school children and 2 teachers who participated in training on making re-usable sanitary pad.


I.     St. Josephs’ Kibalinga Primary School.








  One school girl

Angella 12 Years P6 Class

The first girl to share her perceptions about the project regarding achievements, challenges and way forward was Angela. She shared her experience and views about the project and menstrual hygiene management as follows;

“My parents and aunts had told me that when I reach like 12years I will go through menstrual periods and that I would need to protect my hygiene. I happen to have started experiencing periods at the time of training.”


Angela continued to elaborate more with some requests;

 “During training I learnt how to use sanitary pads and hygiene management. Therefore, I found it simple to handle during my first menstrual periods, and I use sanitary pads that I made myself”!  …and sometimes I buy disposable pads that I buy in shops. But the ones I make are suitable than ones I buy in shops. I don’t get any problem and I can make many reusable pads, but I lack materials to use. Urgently we request you to provide us with sanitary pads making materials such that we can make enough pads. In addition, we request to construct for us a changing room because “we don’t have one”. We normally use latrine rooms when to pad ourselves.”


She further emphasized her ability to train other fellow pupils in reusable sanitary pad making and hygiene management.

“I can team up with other pupils I trained with plus boys and train others such that we can make more and enough pads for our school and community” stressed Angela

“I wish we always include like a few boys because sometimes boys do not mind much since they don’t go through menstrual periods. This will enable us to train many girls.”

Angela nevertheless recommended the inclusion of boys in the trainings about menstrual hygiene management and reusable sanitary pad making as illustrated here:

“Yes it’s good to include boys because even boys in future shall have girl children in absence of mothers they have to help them out during menstrual periods”.


Lastly, she said

“Regarding all boys at our school, they are informed and they don’t laugh at us because they know its natural and health to go through menstrual periods”




 


Two school boys
Julius, 11 Years in primary 5

“We learnt how to make pads and when and how to use them… It was good experience for us to participate in the re-usable sanitary pad making and hygiene management; because our sisters go through menstruation periods and we can help them out where necessary.”


Kibuuka John 12years p6

“After training I got knowledge I inform my fellow boys that its natural and healthy for girls to undergo menstrual periods and that we should always help them when they need assistance during the period rather than laughing at them”



    It was a very impressive moment when we asked one of the boys what would they do after making the sanitary pads during their training, a boy answered with shyly smile, ‘I gave it to my girlfriend’ 😊



Comment:

These adolescents met at this school requested the monitoring team to provide them with reusable sanitary pad making materials so that they would be able to make more to meet the growing girls’ menstrual hygiene managements` needs.        



II.   Lwawuna Primary School

The monitoring team had the opportunity to interact with the deputy head teacher as well as the senior woman teacher. These were both direct beneficiaries of the project activities.


 

The deputy head teacher

“The project was very important and useful… our parent who benefited from the training made some re-usable sanitary pads,...If it were not the lack of materials we would have made more,…we also need to involve all pupils in order to make more reusable sanitary pads, and we can also make them for sale.”


He informed the team that the school had changed strategy after this project’s intervention. Since the disposable sanitary pads being used are used once and they are very expensive, the school has now started making re-usable sanitary pad making.


“We therefore asked each parent with an adolescent girl undergoing through menstrual periods to contribute 1,000= per term towards procuring materials for reusable sanitary pad making”.


He also observed

“Sex education and hygiene management training had helped adolescents to be open and speak out openly on issues of sex and reproductive health. I hoped you could provide many more trainings at least 3 trainings per year.”

             

  The senior women teacher

She started by mentioning about boys’ behavior

“I can assure you that after the trainings got from this project,…Boys’ behaviors towards Menstrual hygiene has changed,…boys can now assist and inform me when they found girl’s emergency menstruation as opposed to the situation before this project, when boys could laugh at girls experience menstrual periods.”


Regarding some of the challenges she mentioned

“With knowledge we acquired from your trainings, we can now sustainably make re-usable sanitary pads but we have limited funds to support our project in terms of procuring more materials”


She had also revealed

“Even used to find it difficult in teaching the topic of the reproductive system, as it is sacred in African culture to talk about private/sex organs openly,…teachers were therefore uncomfortable to teach the topic, but after the sex education provided from SORAK children no longer laugh or find it abominable to mention issues of sex and sex organs in class,…”



After the training, the school displayed messages such as ‘STAY IN SCHOOL’ and ‘ATTEND LESSON DAILY’ etc on the three for the purpose of raising students’ awareness as illustrated in the picture below.





Comment;
It was great to see that this school voluntarily made a new idea of requesting for a small contribution from parents to make sanitary pads, and we also observed that school boys’ behavior towards girls support changed, and students and teachers openly discuss about the issue of sex reproductive health and menstruation. This school also emphasized that they have challenges of lack of funds and materials for sanitary pad makings.




III.  Lwawuna Primary School



The monitoring team also had an opportunity to discuss with school children (beneficiaries of the project). These included 4 girls and 3 boys. Voices from the met students were recorded as below;


  Four school girls

Muhoza Diana P7
“it’s good to include boys in re-usable sanitary pad making and hygiene management, because they learn about menstrual hygiene and health management and why girls go through menstrual hygiene, now they no longer laugh at us when we go through our periods while at school”


Nakazibwe Sofia P7
“I benefited much because I used to be shy to go to the senior woman teacher but now I can freely report any healthy issue”


Nasazi Shamim p7
“Boys used to laugh at us but now we are free with them even when we get into menstrual periods while at school!”


Namuddu Christine p7.
“we have a serious request, the school gave us one changing room for girls but it’s not enough and suitable for us. ie its narrow and dirty. We are requesting for one that is suitable to be constructed for us. We are also requesting to provide us with materials for making the sanitary pads.”







 One of the girl showed us the re-usable sanitary pad which she made in the training,

”I made two in the training. I use one during school hours and when I get home, I change to the other one, wash the used one and dry it so that I can use it the next day. I was no longer getting absent from school due to the menstruation”











Girls revealed that “Boys used to laugh at us, but now they are so supportive!” and boys were ashamed when girls revealed it 😊




Three school boys

Some of the boys met also had interesting stories to tell;




Tumwesige Habibu, p7
“After re-usable sanitary pad training I made one pad and I was happy to produce something out of my hands! I gave it to my twin sister to use. They were nice moments for me!”


Wasswa Andrew, p7
“.Before the training project we used to laugh at girls during their menstruation periods but after training we knew that it’s natural and healthy. And we no longer laugh at them”


Qwizera Danniel, p7
“After training we started having boys to boys’ talks and I told them that menstrual period is normal and it’s in nature, we told them that laughing at girls during menstruation is not right”


Habibu, p7
“For us boys from Lwawuna p/s we support and train other pupils to maintain hygiene around the school and the community”



Comment;

Through the interview, I realized that the education and knowledge made a great impact. It is proved that once boys know and understand about girl’s menstruation, their behavior positively changed and became supportive. It was good to hear that the school also provided a changing room for girls even though there are still challenges. All stakeholders including students, teachers, and parents had a change to consider this issue as girls’ menstruation and importance of girls’ educational environment. With this, it is great to see some improvements by this project. 

We promised that this team will do its best to sustain
this project and transfer to other pupils as well.






IV.Recommendation

  • Plan to provide start up reusable making materials for the next project.
  • Plan for making more trainings to many more adolescents
  • Pupils who were trained should be enabled to train others before leaving primary school for the next term of study. 
  • Make and provide reusable sanitary pads to many other schools who haven’t yet considered project.

*This project is supported by Lush Japan Co., Ltd.




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