Minister Hails Stanbic Bank for Amplifying Fight Against Menstrual Poverty

The State Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs, Kabuye Kyofatogabye, has commended Stanbic Bank for its unwavering commitment to addressing community challenges such as menstrual poverty in the Kampala metropolitan area.

He said, “I want to thank Stanbic Bank for taking proactive steps to support girls in need, particularly in underserved communities within the Kampala metropolitan area. Through such collaborative efforts, as there is hope more challenges affecting our communities will easily be combated.”

Menstrual poverty is a term used to describe the lack of access to menstrual hygiene products, education, and proper sanitation facilities, often resulting in girls and women being unable to manage their periods with dignity and leading to social stigmatization and economic barriers.

Kyofatogabye was speaking on Tuesday morning at Nsambya Police Children School, where the bank handed over menstrual kits worth UGX 10m to primary seven (P7) girls from selected ten public primary schools under the stewardship of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).

He lauded the bank for amplifying the fight against pressing social issues like menstrual health which is one of the major reasons why some girls drop out of school.

School dropout rates in Uganda are continuously going high, with about 45% of primary school children and 30% of secondary school children dropping out before completing their education.

The Stanbic Bank head of Corporate Social Investment, Diana Ondoga said, the initiative is part of the bank’s portfolio for supporting Uganda’s growth through economic, education, health and environmental corporate initiatives.

A total number of 730 packs of reusable sanitary towels was extended to candidates sitting for the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) at selected schools that include St Paul Nsambya 49, Kasanga P/S 64, Railway P/S 120, Bukasa P/S 59, Nsambya police children school 150, Kawempe COU 60, St Jude Naguru 68, Kawempe Muslim School 45, Mpererwe P/S 115.

“We have heard several cases of pupils failing to finalize this important education level because of issues like sanitary towels. As Stanbic Bank, We believe supporting our daughters and sisters in this candidate class will play a vital role in reducing school absenteeism and drop-out rates.” Ondoga said adding that they choose to give out reusable sanitary towels because they can be used multiple times, reducing the need for frequent purchases of disposable pads, which can be expensive in the long run.

She noted said the bank is committed to continue supporting more initiatives that touch people in their communities and together with partners like AFRIpads and Gals Forum International, all selected schools will receive proper training usage so that the donated items are well utilized.

 “As we continue to live a dream of driving Uganda’s growth, we have set aside 1% of our entire annual earnings to not only empowering the economic ventures but also give back to our people,” Ondoga said.

Diana Nansasira from the Uganda Police Family and Child Protection unit said Stanbic Bank’s decision to stand with young girls exemplifies the power of unity in addressing social challenges and fostering sustainable development in Uganda.

“The menstrual kit distribution exercise will serve as a beacon of hope for young girls in ensuring their well-being and educational success. We believe in empowering all schools to create a safe and inclusive environment for their students.” Nansasira said.

She also implored the bank to also extend the same offer to suspects in different police cells because sometimes female suspects go through tough times when they get periods while in custody. 

Anena Victoria, one of the beneficiaries expressed her deepest gratitude to the bank for their generous donation citing that her parents were finding it hard to buy her pads on monthly basis.

“This donation will truly make a difference in our lives, as many of us come from families that cannot afford the monthly cost of these essential products. I’m happy that I will not disturb my father for a while because he is struggling with other bills.” Anena said.

Anita Atuhaire