Christine, the goal shooter, takes aim at girls’ health education

Girls in purple Plan T-shirts stand in lines, performing for a crowd of onlookers.

The Hygiene Club performs to inform!

Christine, 16, is the goal shooter for her netball team, but she’s set her sights on a goal worth more than just a game point. In Uganda, many girls lack the knowledge or resources to effectively manage their hygiene and personal health.

Christine, who is now in her final year of primary school, became extremely confused and frightened when she first felt signs of illness. “I had never seen anybody sick like this before. I didn’t tell my friends. I was so afraid. I didn’t know what was happening to my body and the fear just made the pain worse,” she said.

Due to this unknown ailment, Christine would often have to leave class, skip playing netball or stay home from school – missing the day’s lessons entirely. “I was in so much pain… class became very uncomfortable, I couldn’t concentrate at all.”

And then one day, much to her relief, Christine understood that what was plaguing her on a monthly basis was nothing to be concerned about. In fact, it was completely natural. An instructor from her Plan-supported school taught Christine and her peers about the process of menstruation and how it could be properly coped with by using products like hygienic pads. “That made me so happy, I could play freely again,” explained Christine.

A group of girls in turquoise dresses sing and dance in a field.

Christine and the Hygiene Club sing their way to better community health.

Menstruation can be terrifying for a young girl if she is unaware that it is a natural bodily occurrence. If not properly addressed, its effects can compromise proper sanitation and prevent girls from attending school for several days a month, presenting a considerable setback in their studies.

A girl in a turquoise dress with a fierce expression crouches in front of others, while holding a white sports ball.

Christine now sets her sights on goals in netball and beyond!

By providing access to sexual health education and affordable hygiene products, Plan is empowering adolescent girls in developing countries. Plan has also partnered with organizations that employ local women to produce and distribute sanitary products, like reusable pads – generating income for communities – while helping girls like Christine take control of their health.

After learning about reproductive health, Christine was inspired to share her enlightening experience and knowledge with others. She now participates in a Hygiene Club, where she and other members use songs and spoken word poems to inform peers of topics surrounding menstruation and best health practices.

But, most of all, Plan has helped Christine get back to doing the things she loves most – like being the top goal shooter. “Now when I play netball, I have nothing to worry about,” she said. “I can jump! I can dance! I can do anything!”

Good hygiene is vital for good health. Help girls like Christine receive the education and resources they need to take on life’s challenges, so that they can achieve every goal they set for themselves.