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headteacher pointing at the changing room

Padzuwa Primary School in the Balang'ombe zone of Lilongwe district faced numerous challenges before the introduction of a much-needed changing room. Students, particularly girls like Jane Malikebu, struggled with changing into sports uniforms and managing personal hygiene during menstruation due to the lack of a designated space. Without a changing room, students were susceptible to harassment, teasing, and accidents while changing in open spaces or shared classrooms, which disrupted the learning environment and hindered active participation in physical education classes.

In response to these issues, the Creative Centre for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM) stepped in, providing training on a safe school committee through the Girls Get Equal Project, funded by Norad through Plan International Malawi. Through their collective efforts, the school successfully constructed a changing room, leading to remarkable results and a positive impact.

Jane Malikebu, a standard 6 student at Padzuwa Primary School, expressed her appreciation, "The changing room has been a game-changer for me and my fellow female students. Now, we don't have to worry about changing in front of others, and it's much easier to manage our hygiene during our periods."

The introduction of the changing room provided a private and safe space for students to change, ensuring their dignity and right to privacy. Ezekiel Mwale, the head teacher, noted the significant change, stating, "The changing room has revolutionized our school environment, fostering a sense of dignity and empowerment among our students."

The success of the changing room at Padzuwa Primary School is a testament to the dedication of the Safe School Committee, including members like Grace Chirwa, who advocated for its construction. Grace shared her perspective, stating, "The changing room has brought a significant change in our school community. It has empowered our students, especially girls, and created a sense of unity and inclusivity."


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