Meet *Martha.

A young Ethiopian girl named Martha is standing in the grass in front of a hut. She's holding some school books and smiling broadly. She's about 12 years old - soon to face the impact period poverty will have on her education.She’s bright. She’s learning. She’s full of hope. Keep it up, Martha!

Sadly, for too many girls like Martha, everything changes when menstruation starts. School is hard to manage when you don’t have sanitary supplies; when you’re using old rags or even grass. Toilets are inadequate, privacy is limited, there’s no soap. It’s easier to stay home – for an average of five days per month. Period poverty has huge consequences for their future.

Because of period poverty, learning soon suffers.

At the same time, your family’s demands change. You’ll be a woman soon; you should have more responsibility at home. Marriage isn’t far off – in Ethiopia, over 40% of girls marry before they are 18. Almost 15% marry before the age of 15, especially in rural areas.

Education drops off the radar. Girls leave school in increasing numbers.

Girls caught in “heartbreaking” patterns

Smiling gently, Menpezash (our Ethiopian partner) looks into the camera. She is sitting in the shade of some trees.In rural Koshe and Inseno, Global Care’s Ethiopian partners have been running self-help groups for women, to improve the financial stability of families so they’re less reliant on child labour and can afford school fees. But on home visits, Menpezash, the local co-ordinator, has seen this pattern with girls play out again and again. She describes it as “heartbreaking”.

Ethiopia has around 10 million school-age children out of school – one of the worst rates in the world. Over 40% of adult women are illiterate: they cannot read or write.

Tackling period poverty in Ethiopia

Our partners want to see girls thrive. Tackling ‘period poverty’ removes one major barrier to their flourishing.

They propose a three-way approach, initially supporting 50 girls aged 10-18 in the Koshe area, over 12 months:

  • Providing sanitary supplies and underwear, including shorts.
  • Tackling the social and religious taboos which stop families talking about it – too many young girls experience their first period with no warning or preparation.
  • Improving access to healthcare so infections, pain relief and other complications can be dealt with properly.

We are tackling period poverty in Ethiopia, so girls can flourish, in education and in life.

Every gift has an impact:

  • Just £13 gives a girl a year’s supply of sanitary products.
  • Just £15 gives a girl a year’s supply of soap.
  • £65 pays for one training session for girls, parents & carers..
  • £214 pays for professional health and counselling services for one month.

It’s amazing how far a small gift can go to change a girl’s life.

Sow a gift to help disadvantaged girls this Harvest

Your donation this Harvest will launch this new project in Ethiopia. It will also support other initiatives focussed on the needs of marginalised girls, as a part of our 40th Anniversary fund.

Can you sow a gift to help disadvantaged girls flourish?

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