NGOs encourage giving pads for better school attendance
Students of Dr. John Garang Memorial Secondary School showing the Sanitary Pads they received (photo by Kidega Livingstone).
By Kidega Livingstone
For young girls in developing countries, not knowing how to manage their menstruation periods could hinder access to education.
The Girlhood to Womanhood Organization based in Juba proved that in rural and urban areas providing free sanitary products and lessons about puberty to girls may increase their attendance at school.
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In many poor communities menstruation was often seen as an embarrassing, shameful, and dirty process. Such taboos around the topic meant many adolescent girls were often unprepared for their periods and how to manage them.
“Provision of Sanitary pads has given us the strength and power to continue with our studies, I am so happy we were given the sanitary pads. It is wonderful,” said Monica Aman Mamer a Senior Four student at Dr. John Garang Memorial Secondary School.
This came following the donation of Pads to more than 400 girls in the school by From Girlhood to Womanhood Organization supported by Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA).
Monica revealed that many girls do not go to school during menstruation periods because they could not afford sanitary pads. “Sanitary pads have become too expensive due to the high prices in the market,” she added.
Meanwhile the head teacher of the School Clement Oboma welcomed the initiative saying young girls had been suffering because the culture advocated against menstruation that made girls to fear in case they are going through the period.
“With this initiative girls are encouraged a lot. The organization has brought more pads that can push them for three to four months. It is very good,” affirmed Oboma.
The Managing Director for Girlhood to Womanhood Sarah Balus said that many girls missed school during their periods. She said by giving them the knowledge they would manage their menstrual hygiene efficiently.
“We are making sure they don’t miss out on an education,” said Balus .
She said her organization would continue to give Sanitary Pads to schools in and around Juba and extend to other states.
ADRA Project Manager, George Mauga promised that the organization would continue to support the programmes in order to encourage girl-child education in the country
He noted that there were few girls who were attending schools compared to boys, especially in war affected areas.