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Project information

Hygiene tools for girls in Somalia

International Medical Corps will provide 1,500 females in Somalia with menstrual hygiene supplies - soap, sanitary pads, and underwear. With school visits and community groups, we will show the most vulnerable girls the ease and benefits of menstrual hygiene; keeping them clean, dignified and safe.

January 2016 - March 2016

Charity information: International Medical Corps UK

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  • Need


    In 2014, International Medical Corp’s health facilities in Jowhar saw that urine infections caused by poor hygiene were the largest cause of sickness in females aged 10-24 years. Lack of personal hygiene during menstruation has a huge impact on the lives of girls in Somalia. Mothers and daughters will often not talk about the taboo topic of personal hygiene, and accessing sanitary pads is difficult. During their monthly cycle, school attendance from girls is low, due to fear of embarrassment.


    International Medical Corps have trained 20 community workers to promote personal hygiene through home visits, community meetings, and school visits. By giving out sanitary pads, soap and underwear through these visits and meetings, we will support girls to put their new found knowledge of menstrual hygiene into practice. By increasing the demand for sanitary pads, we hope to drive down the prices of supplies, improving access in the long term.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To improve menstrual hygiene of 1,500 females between 10 and 24 years of age in Jowhar.


    » Distribute menstrual hygiene kits, to include underwear (2 pairs), sanitary pads (15 pads per month), and soap (1 bar per month)
    » Replenish sanitary pads and soap on a monthly basis.
    » Give clear messaging and instruction on the proper use and disposal of the pads through trained community workers.

    What success will look like

    Surveys and group discussions will be conducted face to face with beneficiaries to monitor how many girls are using sanitary pads, and their satisfaction with the products.

  • Impact


    International Medical Corps already runs projects in the Jowhar District which aim to make the topic of menstrual hygiene less of a taboo within communities and families. Through education and the provision of tools for girls to use, we aim to change behaviours on an individual and community level. Success will be demonstrated through the numbers of girls reportedly using sanitary pads and their personal accounts of the experience.


    International Medical Corps has been working in Somalia since 1991, and in Jowhar Ddistrict since 2013. We have an in depth knowledge of context and understanding of how to mitigate risk, namely by ensuring the involvement of key stakeholders—including religious leaders, local authorities, and community elders—in all stages of program design, implementation, and monitoring.


    Donors will be frequently updated on the progress of the project with 3 written reports throughout the project duration, sent via email or post according to preference. The reports will include case studies, qualitative and quantitative evaluations and photographs.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £6,108 Sanitary pads 67,500 sanitary pads for 1,500 girls over 3 months
      £1,031 Underwear 3,000 pairs of underwear for 1,500 girls over 3 months
      £1,833 Soap 4,500 bars of soap for 1,500 girls over 3 months
      £1,028 Fees Charged by The Big Give (4%) and UK and US office expertise, evaluation and administration (7%)
  • Background


    We have been in Somalia since 1991, where decades of conflict, political instability and famine have left it as one of the poorest, most dangerous places. Less than 1/3 of the population have access to clean water and 39% to sanitation, and there are currently over 1.1 million internally displaced people. International Medical Corps has been working in Jowhar District, and South-Central Somalia since December 2013, running life-saving primary and reproductive healthcare services.


    The population of Jowhar District was 62,000 in 2010. The population are at high risk, with 64% chance of dying as a result of maternal causes, between the ages of 15 and 49. Women of child-bearing age comprise approximately 35% of the target population of Jowhar District. In this project, 1,500 female youth between the ages of 10 and 24 will be targeted specifically, in their homes, schools and at community groups.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Since we were founded, International Medical Corps is committed to rebuilding the capacity of vulnerable communities. Today this remains our guiding principle, everywhere that we work. We understand from experience that simple changes in behaviour can have huge health benefits and save millions of lives each year. We use our extensive global experience and expertise in everything we do to ensure the highest of quality in programs such as this.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Meymuna Abass

    As our Social and Behaviour Change Expert, Meymuna will work on how this distribution of menstrual hygiene kits can help long term practices.

    Hassan Hussein

    Our Health & Hygiene Supervisor, Hassan, is a trained midwife and coordinates our community leaders to find the best ways to reach our beneficiaries.

    Said Ali Sheikh

    As our Water and Sanitation Hygiene coordinator, Said provides technical oversight on the ground in Somalia.