As one way of promoting menstrual hygiene among the school-going girls in the country, a youth initiative called 10+ Her Period Her Pride initiative on Tuesday donated reusable sanitary pads and soap to 58 primary and secondary school girls in Traditional Authority (TA) Chiseka in Lilongwe.
Speaking when making the donation, 10+ Her Period Her Pride initiative founder and leader Peter Mndalasini said it is now time to make sure that school-going girls most especially those in primary and secondary schools are practicing menstrual hygiene so as to avoid absenteeism that comes when girls are on menstrual period hence the donation.
“Our school girls should not fail to go to school because they are on their period. That is why we are here donating these reusable sanitary pads so as to promote menstrual hygiene among them and make education accessible to them all the time,” said Mndalasini.
Mndalasini said on 7 July this year, the initiative won cash of money amounting to K1, 400, 000 in a Sinsoke competition organized by Old Mutual Malawi and made the decision of using the money to train girls on how to make the reusable sanitary pads.
“Apart from donating the reusable sanitary pads to school girls, we also train the girls on how to make the pads so as they can do this on their own. We started these trainings with the amount of money we won in Sisonke competition that old mutual organized in July. We believe that educating a girl child is educating a nation,” he explained.
Mndalasini said despite the fund the initiative won, the major challenge still remains the lack of resources so as they reach out to many girls.
“Despite that we won the fund from the old mutual, we still have challenges of having no enough resources so as to reach out to many girls. As for this, we are calling on government or well-wishers support so as we can reach a lot of girls who are in need of the sanitary pads,” he said.
Apart from donating the reusable sanitary pads and a table of soap, the initiative also conducted a health education section on the COVID-19 vaccine and cervical cancer which was facilitated by Crown Prince Chilongo so as to make sure that the girls are always living health and strong.
In his remarks, Chairman for Chiseka Youth Club, Chimwemwe Mhango thanked 10+ Her Period Her Pride and said the initiative will help girls not to miss school at the time they are on a menstrual period.
“We thank the initiative for this donation. With this, we do not expect girls to miss classes because they are on their menstrual period as it was before,” said Mhango.
In her words, one of the girls who received the sanitary pads from Chipala Primary School Martha Tembo said they are very happy with what the initiative is doing towards their education since with the sanitary pads, they will no longer now miss classes due to menstruation period.
“Menstrual hygiene is very important most especially to us school-going girls. Some of us were not attending classes because of the menstruation period as not all of us can manage to buy sanitary pads in shops. Now with these free sanitary pads from 10+ Her Period Her Pride, we will no longer miss classes,” said Martha.
10+ Her Period Her Pride is a six months project Funded by Women Deliver. The main objective of the project is to improve access to free sanitary pads among primary and secondary school girls. So far, over 511 primary and secondary school girls from urban and semi-urban girls have already benefited from the project.