Perse student to support girls in Ugandan school
Jazzie Heslop (Upper Sixth) has big plans to help start breaking down barriers around period poverty for girls in Uganda.
The Perse student will spend the half-term break in Entebbe, visiting the city’s Early Learning School, where she will deliver talks to a group of 30 girls aged 12 to 16, giving education on the menstrual cycle and advice on sanitary products and hygiene.
Jazzie will also provide them with period ‘starter packs’, including items such as sanitary pads, roll-on deodorants, flannels, soap and Vaseline.
She explained that she had discovered the issues facing girls via friend Hannah Nunn, who runs Kickstart Coffee, a local community interest company (CIC) with all profits going back to support the Early Learning School.
“My friend suggested I could get involved in some way and because I want to do a medicine degree, I wanted to help with the issue of period poverty in Uganda,” said Jazzie.
“I started researching it and found a quarter of girls aged 12 to 18 drop out of school there entirely because they don’t have access to sanitary products.
“At the moment, many girls use rags and the menstrual cycle and hygiene aren’t spoken about in school, so I just want to go and educate them on it.
“The negative impact of them dropping out of school can lead to things such as earlier child bearing and child marriages, so I want to get involved and help make a change.”
Jazzie, who will also be spending time in a hospital in Entebbe, said she was looking forward to her visit.
She said: “I’ve been having weekly Facetime calls with the headmistress and it looks like a really lovely school.
“I’ve never been anywhere like it and I can’t wait to explore a different culture and see what it’s like. I’ve heard lots about it and I’m so excited to go and see it first-hand.”
Ultimately, Jazzie hopes to set up her own CIC to fund period packs for girls at the Early Learning School, by selling jewellery and shopping bags made locally in Uganda.
She has also set up a GoFundMe page to help raise funds. To donate to her appeal, click here.