Bridget Katushabe is 15 years old and a pupil at St Mark Kakelenge Primary School in Uganda.

Bridget got her first period three years ago while she was at school: ''I was highly shocked and scared and I decided to stay in the latrine for over 30 minutes until lunchtime break. I had to miss the afternoon lesson because I had to rush home to clean myself since there was no place at school where I could change and bathe. Meanwhile I was wondering who I should talk to about this situation. I didn’t know how it had come about? I asked questions like; what am I going to do? What medicine can I take to heal!! All these questions without answers kept coming into my head and with a lot of fears.''

Reaching home Bridget narrated everything that had happened to her mother, who was busy feeding the animals at home.

''She stopped what she was doing and rushed inside and gave me an old piece of cloth to cut into pieces and showed me how to use it, and it’s what I will use every time it happens. She said I did not need to worry so much as it will happen every month, there are special materials used but this was what she could afford.''

Just a Drop has since worked with Bridget's school to provide safe water, sanitation, hygiene education, and training on menstrual hygiene management. We provided a supply of affordable sanitary pads to girls, and delivered menstrual health education to girls, boys, teachers and their families. This raises awareness and breaks down taboos and discrimination against menstruating girls.

Menstrual Hygiene Management enables girls to manage their menstrual cycle with dignity, which helps keep them in school, furthering their education and improving their life chances.

Life changed when Just a Drop began Menstrual Hygiene Management training at our school. Even boys were trained and know about menstruation and how to manage it. I'm very grateful for this and for the construction of a gender-sensitive latrine in our school.

Just a Drop also constructed a gender-sensitive latrine, with a shower room for girls to bathe and change their sanitary pads. Bridget said:

The girls do not have to fear coming to school now, Girls have pads they use during their monthly cycles. They are happier than they were before. We now have a helpful woman teacher who talks to girls even those nearing menstrual time, and girls feel confident. 

Bridget continued: 'We now do not fear boys who used to laugh at us, because they are also aware that menstruation is part of girls’ growth. The boys also share the same feeling like girls.'

The Menstrual Hygiene Education helped other girls in St Mark Kakelenge to understand more about their menstrual cycle and how to manage their period. This training has given me a big lesson as the eldest daughter in my family. I am now a teacher to my young sisters because I am a star in menstrual management education.