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How Mastercard Foundation Scholars Help Girls Stay in School

In 2016 a group of Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program alumni from BRAC Uganda and the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), and graduates of the Jinja School of Nursing and Midwifery formed Africa Well Able (AWA), led by Tumuhairwe Derrick, a public health nurse and BRAC alum. AWA has a simple mission: "To equip young people with skills that will help them to live a self-sustainable life even when they do not have a chance to finish school." Read on

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Tumuhairwe Derrick, founder, Africa Well Able (AWA)


  • 3 January 2020

    Africa Well Able

    Mastercard Foundation
    Publication Date:

    The stigma of menstruation and poor access to hygiene products facilities keeps education out of reach for an estimated 1 out of 10 young African ... see more »

  • 3 November 2021

    Supporting young mothers in Uganda during COVID-19

    Mastercard Foundation
    Publication Date:

    In 2016 a group of Mastercard Foundation Scholars alumni from BRAC and FAWE formed Africa Well Able (AWA) and set an ambitious goal: to provide two ... see more »

Tumuhairwe Derrick, Founder, Africa Well Able, at a Health Club in Jinja. The team makes learning about periods fun by singing songs and plays games to engage the students.

The Africa Well Able Team (L to R): Biira Moreen, 20 years old, Bundibugyo (Western Uganda); Jovia Nazziwa, 24 years old, Kyotera district (Central Uganda); Namulindwa Magret, 24 years old, Masaka (Central Uganda); Wanzira Ema, 23 years old, Sironko district (Eastern Uganda); Mungyereza Byarimpa Tukamuhebwa, 23 years old, Ibanda district (Southern Uganda); Nagujja Cissy, 22 years old, Nakaseke district (Central Uganda); Tumuhairwe Derrick, 25 years old, Jinja (Eastern Uganda).

Research in Uganda suggests stigma around menstruation is the cause of about 22 percent of girls dropping out of school, with poverty being an added factor.

Students in an AWA pad-making workshop. Both boys and girls are trained to make reusable sanitary pads which can be used within their household or sold as a source of additional income.

Nazziwa Jovia, Operation Manager, Africa Well Able

AWA Impact by the Numbers

Muhaye Zerida, student, Africa Well Able Ambassador

Africa Well Able (AWA) & COVID-19 Impact

AWA ambassadors making facing coverings in December 2020. Lockdown measures led to school and business closures which left many families struggling. The income earned from mask sales allowed Sarah and Zerida to purchase supplies when they returned to school.

Africa Well Able (AWA) support for young mothers.


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