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Local church group arrives in Uganda to help set up social enterprise PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 08:25

Uganda visit2
A group from Bitterne Park’s Ascension Church has arrived in Uganda to help set up a community-led project to help keep girls in school by providing access to sanitary towels.


From February 26 to March 9, seven members of the Ascension congregation will be with the small rural community of Naminage, Uganda, which is the church’s link parish.



The group says it’s visiting to “help further improve our good working relationship with the people in the parish of Naminage, with whom we’ve had a long standing link, and to help train children and family workers in the parish”.

It’s setting up a micro-enterprise called Petal, which will help local communities manufacture and sell affordable, reusable sanitary towels within their local area.

Uganda visit research trip2016
This picture was taken during a research trip last year

The church’s website explains that “in too many communities around the world menstruation is a taboo subject. There is often little to no advice available for girls and, frequently, no access to affordable sanitary pads. This is forcing women and girls to use rags and, in some cases, leaves – often leading to the contraction of menstrual diseases.

“The stigma and lack of understanding results in girls feeling like they have to stay at home, missing out on 25% of their education or, in many cases, dropping out altogether.”

Andy Smith not so croppedThe Reverend Andy Smith, left, told the group is hoping to keep the community updated: “We are going to attempt to blog each day about our progress. More details can be found on our church website. The blogs will appear there too [internet connection dependant!].”  

Church of the Ascension is partnering with the parish of St James by the Park in Shirley, and Wessex Social Ventures, which describes itself as a “social enterprise accelerator”, and which helps build ideas and projects into “sustainable social businesses by giving entrepreneurs the tools they need to help themselves”.

Its aim, it explains on its website, is to create true global empowerment by providing long term fulfilling jobs, powering local economies and solving some of the world's fundamental social issues.

If you want to support the project you can donate via the Church of Ascension’s website.

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