COWASH IV, in collaboration with the Sidama Bureau of Education, successfully conducted a four-day menstrual hygiene management (MHM) training in Yirgalem City from December 12th to 15th, 2023. This comprehensive program equipped 30 participants, including school directors, teachers, health workers, and experts for woreda and regional bureaus, with essential skills to create a more supportive environment for girls and women in the region.

The training, led by COWASH IV national consultant Alehubel Alemaw, tackled crucial topics like life skills development, dispelling myths and taboos surrounding menstruation, and practical sessions on designing and producing reusable sanitary pads. This knowledge empowers participants to address the challenges faced by girls and women during their menstrual cycle, fostering a more open and understanding environment.

Participants gained valuable skills in producing affordable and hygienic reusable menstrual products, promoting self-reliance and economic opportunities. This knowledge, particularly for teachers and health extension workers, enables them to cascade their learnings within their communities, creating a ripple effect of positive change.

Meheret Philipose, a passionate health worker from Wondo Genet woreda, expressed her eagerness to share her newfound knowledge with mothers during her house visits, making menstrual hygiene accessible to all. Similarly, Hamaro Hamiso, a visionary secondary school director from Chirone Woreda, plans to train students and establish pad production in his school, ensuring girls’ well-being and uninterrupted education.

MHM education is crucial for achieving gender equality and promoting overall well-being. COWASH IV’s impactful program is paving the way for a future where menstrual health is not a barrier, but a source of empowerment for women and girls in Ethiopia.

COWASH IV works in five woredas across Sidama Region, actively focusing on MHM initiatives in Wondogenet, Arbegona, and Chirone. Through collaborative efforts with the regional government, COWASH IV provides MHM awareness creation, sanitary pad production training, and construction of MHM facilities in schools within these woredas, demonstrating its unwavering commitment to creating lasting change.