How Improved School Infrastructure is Empowering Girls to Step Foot and Stay in the Classroom
‘I am very happy at school. I have freedom, peace and confidence in my school environment which enables me to get well educated. As a girl child the obstacles that were stopping me are gone, and I can see that my dreams will happen. Now, I can attend classes, even when I have my period. Thank you for caring for us girls’.Grace, Standard 6 student at Gijedabung Primary School
Girls’ enrolment has increased by 46% in So They Can supported primary schools in Tanzania.
As girls’ enrolment increases, so does the need for inclusive school infrastructure, such as gender-disaggregated toilets, washing facilities and sanitary products, enabling girls to attend school with dignity.
Right now inadequate access to these facilities is one of the most significant barriers that prevents adolescent girls from completing their schooling. At Gijedabung Primary School there were only 5 toilets available for 430 girls. Girls were reluctant to attend school, especially when they had their period.
In 2022 So They Can, with the generous support of partners, renovated the entire girls’ toilet block – completing 6 new toilets constructed with contributions mobilised by the community, and a girls’ changing room with 1 toilet, 1 shower, 1 hand wash basin and incinerator for the disposal of sanitary pads for girls.
Since the girls toilets, and a changing room were constructed at Gijedabung Primary School last year, an additional 100 girls have enrolled! So They Can has also provided 57 reusable sanitary packs in 2023.
‘We are very grateful to So They Can for the great help that you gave us to improve the girls’ toilets. The addition of a toilet for our special needs children has also made a huge difference. We have 31 children with disabilities at our school. Access to clean toilets means that students can be happy and confident in their school environment.’Ms Fwad – Girls’ Guardian Teacher.