Latter-day Saint Charities Updates

How Improving Hygiene Conditions Helps Girls Stay in School

Young girls wash their hands at a newly installed handwashing station near their school in Cote D'Ivoire.

Côte d'Ivoire, February 13th, 2017.

My name is Diabate Massadje. I am the mother of a beautiful young girl, Nandenin. She is 13 years old, and she is attending school in the department of Odienné, in North West Côte d’Ivoire. I would like to thank those who made it possible for us to have a water point. Thanks to you, my daughter no longer misses school, even while she is menstruating. She is getting better results at school, which makes her happy, and I am very proud of her.

Since my daughter started menstruating last year, every month she would tell me she didn’t want to go to school. I did not realize why until later on because at home, we don’t really talk about those things with children.

But lately, she has been happy to go to school even when she is menstruating. I asked her why, and she said, “Mama…the real problem was…at school, I did not know what to do. There was no place to change my hygienic towels.... But today we have a pump at school and latrines especially for girls.”

I wish all schools in Odienné and even in Côte d'Ivoire would have pumps and latrines with adequate facilities to enable girls to continue going to school in dignity. With proper facilities, girls can become educated and will be able to take part in the construction of our beautiful country.

In Odienne, only 40 percent of elementary schools have functional latrines and only 38 percent have functional water points. UNICEF is working with partners with the support of its generous donors to enable each child and every student to benefit from improved latrines that include water points. With their partners, UNICEF has built water points in 15 schools in the regions of Kabadougou and Folon located in the North of the country.

LDS Charities is partnering with UNICEF USA to help girls like Nandenin stay in school all across the world.

*This article was provided by UNICEF Cote D’Ivoire