Karooro makes strides to save girl-child

In a move to save the girl-child, Hon. Lay Can. Mary Karooro Okurut who is the Senior Presidential Advisor on Public Relations has intervened by setting up a sanitary pads factory and a skilling centre in Bushenyi district.

“Most of the young girls especially the needy drop out of school and later fail to complete their education due to lack of such basics,” Karooro says.

“While on a visit in India, I discovered affordable technology that integrates the use of local raw materials to make sanitary pads,” she narrates. Karooro says, “My vision is to make sanitary pads easily accessible and affordable.”

Karooro was on Sunday speaking at a Thanks giving service that was organized by a cross section of Bushenyi residents. The function that took place at the site-Katungu also doubled as a function where residents appreciated Karooro for her outstanding contribution towards the development of Bushenyi. The residents who were led by Pison Mugizi supported Karooro with over Shs30million and 400bags of cement. The service was presided over by the former Bishop of West Ankole Diocese Rt. Rev. Yona Katuneene who described Karooro saying, “We want to commend you for your intellectual contribution among others towards the development of this country.”

Karooro (centre) explaining the progress of the factory to the former Bishop of West Ankole Diocese (right) Rt. Rev Yona Katuneene.

Karooro is Bushenyi’s former district woman MP. She served as a minister of General duties in the office of the Prime Minister, Minister of security, Minister of Gender, Labor and Social Development and Minister of Information and National guidance.

In an interview, the Mitooma District Education officer Peace Barungi described the issue of lack of sanitary pads as a big contributor of cases of girl-child drop outs. Barungi says young girls especially from humble families where parents cannot afford to provide them; find it uneasy to pack pieces of clothes like what many used to do many years ago.

Barungi said in the past it was okay since a relatively number of girls would use pieces of cloth to protect them whenever they would be in periods. “Some mothers would pack for their daughters pieces of clothes and they would somehow feel low.  But much as you would feel uncomfortable, it would not affect you because girls who were using pieces of cloth were many,” Barungi recalled.

She said in the current modern era, it’s becoming difficult for young girls especially from humble families. “In schools, the first thing to check at the gate are sanitary pads. They want to see whether you have packed enough. Sometimes, those without them (sanitary pads) are sent back home and you never see them again in school,” Barungi explained.  “Those who pack pieces of clothes feel ashamed and it affects their morale,” she noted. Barungi described Karooro’s intervention is timely.

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