Partnerships with ministries and agencies such as UNICEF Rwanda, Plan Rwanda, WaterAid Rwanda and VSO Rwanda have helped to enable scale up. Partner organizations, including American and Rwandan technical schools, help hone the manufacturing process and transfer the required technology to local entrepreneurs.
Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE) champions, including Rwandan ministers and parliamentarians, advocate for expanded budgets for MHM and the elimination of the VAT on menstrual health products. In 2010, SHE28 led the “Breaking the Silence around Menstruation” campaign. In partnership with the ministries of gender, education and health, the campaign secured the mandate that schools include girls’ rooms. SHE28 also produced national radio programmes in cooperation with the Rwandan Ministry of Health and reached over 1,000 students through awareness workshops.
SHE28’s manual for training of trainers (TOT) in MHM and an MHM teacher/student manual have been approved by the Rwandan Education Board. The manuals include guidance for teachers to advocate for improved WinS and provide information on the skills needed to support girls in schools.
Public sanitation budgets do not include adequate funding for hardware’, such as menstrual pads, handwashing facilities, and safe, private toilets, or ‘software’, such as puberty education and teacher training to improve knowledge and reduce practices that restrict menstruating women’s and girls’ activities.
The overview was compiled based on information from WASH in Schools Empowers Girls’ Education - Proceedings of the Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools Virtual Conference 2014.