Today we celebrated the opening of the Girls' Changing Room at Pageya Primary School. The Changing Room will be a place for the girls to care for themselves during their periods, rest when they feel unwell, and speak with teachers in private when they need counsel. Everyone was excited for this day, and the girls were eager to see their building.
We were led to the Changing Room by dancers. The girls followed with anticipation and watched as the ribbon was cut, and the walk up to the building was opened. Administrators, Fields of Dreams Uganda staff, school staff, our team and the older girls all had a chance to walk through the building. It was beautifully decorated and had wonderful space for the girls.
As I watched the older girls exit the building with pride and joy on their faces, I looked over to the side and noticed the younger girls watching. They weren't touring the building, but they were watching those who were with curiosity. I thought about what this Changing Room will mean for them some day.
The younger girls won't know what it's like to have to leave school when their period starts. They won't expect menstruation to signal the end of their education. They know their school has a place for them to tend to themselves when that day comes. They know they can carry on with their studies as they mature with the support and care of their school and Fields of Dreams Uganda.
This building brought hope and a change of expectations for the girls of Pageya. Something that was a very real difficulty and hindrance for girls before them won't be for these younger ones. The future looks different for them and that is a beautiful thing.