Uganda Red Cross Society with support from Austrian Development Cooperation through Austrian Red Cross is implementing the Skybird Project aimed at improving Water, Sanitation and Hygiene among the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) refugee community in Bundibugyo district. Uganda continues to host the largest number of refugees in sub-Saharan Africa, with a total registered population of over 1,500,000, out of which 60 percent are from South Sudan and 30 percent from the Democratic Republic of Congo
As part of the Skybird project, URCS donated 830 Menstrual Hygiene Kits to DRC refugee women and girls, with each receiving sanitary pads (both reusable and disposable), a pantie peg, knickers, bucket and a bar of soap. In addition, 500 twenty-liter Jerry cans were distributed within the same community. The distribution was carried out at Lamia Church of Uganda and Busunga Catholic Church clusters, Nyahuka Town Council, Sindira, and Bundingoma sub-counties where the refugees reside.
Winifred Auma, URCS Branch Manager – Bundibugyo said, “The support from the Austrian Red Cross and Austrian Development Cooperation towards menstrual kits is part of protecting and promoting dignity among girls and women. We have not only distributed menstrual hygiene kits, but have also constructed latrines, set up hand washing facilities and sensitized the community on Menstrual Hygiene Management with in Bundibugyo.
One of the beneficiaries, Esther Kyomugisa shared an ordeal of not being able to afford sanitary pads during her menstrual cycle,” I have been suffering whenever am in my periods because I didn’t have enough materials to use. With these kits, I will manage my periods well, thanks to Red Cross.”
While responding to disasters and emergencies, Uganda Red Cross Society works closely with the Office of The Prime Minister both at national and district levels. “Uganda Red Cross Society has been supportive of us as a District right from development of the District Contingency Multi-hazard plan to supporting refugees. They have improved hygiene in communities, built latrines and set up hand washing facilities. These menstrual hygiene kits have come in time when we needed them mostly to help women and girls to improve on hygiene during their monthly cycle,” said Ssenyondo Francis, Chairperson Bundibugyo District Disaster Management Committee.