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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Menstrual Health Education Programme Developer with Irise in Uganda

Deadline: 3 August 2015

Location: Uganda

Organization: Irise

This is a unique opportunity for an experienced young professional to contribute to work on a neglected women’s rights issue and to the growth of a small organisation. They will work in close collaboration with like-minded individuals in Uganda and play an active role in shaping the future of Irise. They must be passionate about the empowerment of women and excited about the challenges of working in a start-up.


Irise is a fast growing organisation dedicated to addressing inadequate Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM), an issue identified by marginalised women and girls as a driver of gender inequality and disempowerment through an insidious impact on their ability to engage in education and make good decisions about their reproductive health. We found that 74% of girls in rural Uganda believe that period pain is a sign of illness and 43% believe it is harmful to run or dance during their period.

We believe that menstruation and puberty are the first steps in a girl's sexual and reproductive life and that access to information and support during this important period can give her the confidence to make choices about her own body throughout her life. We also aim to work with men and boys to help them understand and respect women's bodies.

Through creating a safe space to talk about menstruation we can address the systemic misinformation surrounding women's menstrual and reproductive health, ranging from doctor's advising that sex can cure period pain to the idea that menstruating women are dirty and can contaminate others and fears that hormonal contraceptives can cause deformed babies. We also break the silence surrounding other taboo issues and begin important dialogues about gender roles and girls’ rights.

We work to develop and deliver creative menstrual health education (MHE) that other organisations can integrate into their existing work. Our progress towards this goal is summarised below. 

  • Over 1,000 East African girls are given the opportunity to ask anonymous questions about menstruation and a Menstrual Health Education Resource designed to answer these questions is developed and piloted in Kisumu, Kenya. 
  • Baseline Data on girls’ knowledge on menstruation in Uganda reveals serious knowledge deficits. A tool for monitoring knowledge of menstruation is validated in Uganda.
  • A programme attempting to engage medical students and local people in delivery of menstrual health education concludes that misinformation is systemic and that taboos and myths mean that more than factual information is needed.
  • Irise launches a Menstrual Hygiene Toolkit which includes an updated Menstrual Health Education Resource. To date it has been shared with over 30 organisations and used in Nepal and Bolivia. 
  • Two Irise trustees collaborate with Theatre for a Change to learn about their participatory teaching methods which have a good track record at achieving attitude and behaviour change around HIV/AIDs. 
  • These teaching methods are applied to menstruation and piloted in Uganda. Preliminary data suggests that the teaching improves girls’ knowledge. Resources for training educators and teachers and delivering participatory teaching in schools and the community are developed.
  • The teaching is delivered in schools as part of a research study to establish the effect of a Menstrual Hygiene Programme on school girls’ absenteeism.
  • Irise develops a Menstrual Hygiene superhero cartoon to be shared with schools around Menstrual Hygiene Day 2015.

Role Description:

The individual will build on the existing work and experience of Irise International to develop a train the trainer course and other creative resources to support the delivery of menstrual health education in East Africa. The materials will be developed and piloted through our programme in Jinja and then promoted more widely so that other organisations can integrate them into their work.

The individual will help to establish a train the trainer programme and work in close collaboration with the our social enterprise Irise Uganda Ltd to ensure that communities receiving Easy Pads (reusable pads) are also able to access the information they need. They will work closely with the Menstrual Health Education Trainer based in our Jinja office as well as training and supporting other trainers and organisations.

Developing materials for a Train the Trainers course
Developing the content for other supplementary resources (e.g: resources for girls groups, men and boys and mother and daughter sessions in schools, interactive online resources and posters.)
Collaborating with a graphic designer to develop colourful and creative resources
Writing funding applications to support the running and expansion of the programme
Manage and train the Jinja office based MHE Trainer to help and support this work and encourage them to take increasing levels of responsibility for the programme
Deliver training and workshops to other organisations in collaboration with the MHE Trainer and the social enterprise
Train and support regional trainers to deliver MHE training to organisations in their areas
Collaborate with the Business and Sales Manager of Irise Uganda Ltd to ensure the education and product provision complement one another
Ensure relevant Monitoring and Evaluation data is collected by the team and from other organisations engaged in training.

Person Specification:

Experience of developing and delivering health education in Sub-Saharan Africa
A graduate with at least a bachelors degree in a relevant subject area
Knowledge and experience of teaching and training
Experience developing teaching or training resources
Experience of mentoring and training more junior staff

Experience of living and working in East Africa
Knowledge and experience of women’s health in the context of public health
Experience of training adults in East Africa
Experience of the primary/secondary school setting in East Africa
Experience of writing funding applications
Experience of monitoring and evaluation
Previous work on Menstrual Hygiene Management

£500/month maintenance grant
Free accommodation in Jinja, Uganda (a room in a shared, furnished flat with cooking facilities, hot water and a fridge)
Initial 3 month contract (Aug-Dec) with the aim of extending to a 12 month contract based on the individual’s compatibility with the team and funding.

How to apply:

Please send your CV and a cover letter explaining why you are right for the role to making ‘MHHE Programme Developer’ the subject of the email.

Interviews will happen in the last week of July and the first week of August with the aim of communicating a final decision to candidates by Monday 10th August.

The successful candidate will start at the end of August/beginning of September.

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