As the world recognizes Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28 May, MIET AFRICA, in partnership with the Basic Education Department (South Africa), UNESCO, and Days for Girls International, is developing guidelines to address menstrual health challenges in South African schools. The objective is to establish a sustainable framework that encompasses menstrual hygiene education, facilities, and services, all of which are crucial for supporting the health and well-being of all learners.
The key aims of this menstrual health intervention are to:
Build awareness and engage stakeholders to raise awareness and actively involve learners, teachers, caregivers, and policy makers, in order to foster a comprehensive understanding of menstrual health.
Strengthen management and coordinating structures at the school level by enhancing the planning and implementation of structured menstrual hygiene management (MHM) education and support programmes within schools.
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) in South Africa, in partnership with MIET AFRICA, UNICEF South Africa and the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT), recently launched two youth empowerment initiatives in Pretoria, South Africa – the SADC FutureLife-Now! Programme and the Ubuntu Youth Leaders Movement. The two programmes contribute to the DBE’s Care and Support for Teaching and Learning (CSTL) Framework and the SADC Child and Youth Agency Framework.
For South Africa, FutureLife-Now! contributes to building the human capital of the country’s approximately 22 million young people by empowering them to be responsible, actively engaged citizens leading responses to 21st century development challenges, specifically those related to health, gender inequality, climate change and unemployment. Following a successful first phase (2019 – 2023) implemented in Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, South Africa is joining the programme‘s second phase (2023-2026) which sees a scale up of FutureLife-Now! to additional Member States in the region.