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Empowering girls at school to make the most of their education

In some parts of Nepal, the practice of chhaupadi still continues to happen, despite being banned by the Supreme Court in 2005. Chhaupadi is when women and girls who are on their periods are banished to a shed or hut in the belief that their household will be punished by God if they are to enter the home while menstruating.

The Nepali government is working hard to change people’s attitudes to menstruating women and girls by promoting women’s rights and educating wider society about the realities of periods and the female body’s monthly cycle. A particular focus is on educating people around helping girls who are menstruating cope with their period while they are at school. Steps are being taken to encourage a more ‘girl-friendly’ atmosphere in schools, with separate toilets for female students and access to sanitary products, which can be too expensive for those in rural areas to afford.

Many girls feel shame in asking to buy the product they need to manage their period, and so will use rags, socks or old, dirty clothes instead. This can lead to communicable diseases, which also have an impact on girls’ ability to stay in school and learn. Many girls also do not go to school while they have their period as they feel it is too difficult or embarrassing for them to attend.

Thanks to our work with REED, our partner NGO on the ground, we have chosen four local schools to work with to help their female students manage their menstrual cycles and stay in the learning environment. Each school would benefit hugely from better toilets for girls and facilities to dispose of sanitary towels discreetly and hygienically.

The schools are:
– Mamankhe School
– Saraswati School, Lelep (including a hostel that houses 30 girls)
– Sundevi School
– Yamphudin School

Between them, these four schools cater for around 250 girls entering their teenage years. We are working to replace existing toilets and build female-only facilities, as well as provide tailored education and training to girls and mothers’ groups to support students in managing their periods in a hygienic, private and dignified way. Teachers and school managers will also be involved in this training, which has been made possible thanks to amazing sponsorship support from Inner Wheel District 10.

Although we are working with these four schools right now, there are many, many more that could benefit hugely from our support. If you would like to help us empower girls to learn how to manage their periods and continue their studies at school, please get in touch with the Himalayan Trust UK. We welcome any offers of practical help or financial donations – a little can go a very long way in the Himalaya. Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.


As registered charities and foundations, we continue to work with the communities of Nepal.
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