Our Mission

 “The more aware we are of our problems the more we can take responsibility for them.  Therefore, if we want complete change, we must quit hacking at the leaves of attitude and behavior and get to work on the root, from which these attitudes and behaviors flow.” Madinah Kakyaama, program director for Reach the Children Uganda

The attitudes and behavior surrounding menstruation are shame, neglect, poor self-image, ignorance, and perpetual infection of the bladder, kidneys and reproductive organs. These difficulties largely contribute to the lowered status of girls, women, and mothers worldwide. Additionally, many young girls are forced to either miss school regularly during their menstrual cycle or withdraw altogether given their limited resources and the unsanitary conditions of their schools. Withdrawal from school is often followed by a variety of tragedies ranging from early marriage, to contraction of HIV, to obstructed labor and frequently subsequent fistula. Research has demonstrated that by preventing withdrawal from school many of these painful outcomes can be prevented.

Grow. Learn. Give. (GLG) was organized exclusively for educational and charitable purposes.  Specifically, Grow. Learn. Give. creates and distributes health educational materials to non-profit organizations working with underprivileged populations.  

Education, especially of the girl-child, is widely regarded as the best investment that most developing countries can make. Not only does it open up choices and opportunities, education is associated with better health outcomes individually and as a family, resulting in better nutrition and fewer deaths among mothers and children. Preparing young girls for success in school is paramount to achieving health and success in an increasingly global community. Indeed, girls without an education will be greatly disadvantaged in the future and will struggle with maximizing their potential as adults.

Once young girls in school begin their menstruation, many drop out due to lack of access to sanitary pads and inadequate school sanitation and hygiene facilities to meet their needs. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) (2005) estimates that one in 10 school-age African girls do not attend school during their menstruation. Few schools have any emergency sanitary supplies for girls. Communal toilet facilities are not suitable for changing sanitary pads given the lack of water and sanitary material disposal systems. One study in Uganda found that one in three girls missed all or part of a school day during their menstrual cycle.

It’s not enough to just build a toilet or give a girl a pad.  She needs information and true understanding of the natural process of maturation.  Maturation education is sorely lacking in developing countries and Grow. Learn. Give. seeks to fill this gap by providing appropriate adolescent health education.  These materials will be distributed to partner NGO’s who will train local educators to use the booklets in school or community education settings.

The Grow. Learn. Give. Solution:

Starting in 2007, the founders of Grow Learn Give conducted research in rural areas of Uganda in partnership with Brigham Young University and a non profit organization, Reach the Children.  A comprehensive survey was conducted of girls ages 9-14 in the community and the results were used to develop the Grow Learn Give educational booklets. These booklets help both teachers and students better understand the root causes of many health issues as well as how to address them through education and prevention. We plan to continue to develop tools that will help identify, prevent, and address the root causes of health problems on a community-based level.  Our purposes are three fold:

1) Provide proper health education materials and lesson plans to teach others. We have created educational booklets for the instruction of women and girls regarding hygiene, menstruation and the changes that occur during puberty. We intend to use the educational materials in order to empower women and girls with life long knowledge.

2) Conduct research and evaluation of materials to ensure the materials create true
behavior change.

3) To support effective implementation of our program and health behavior change by guiding and advising organizations on the use of our educational materials and
teaching method.