Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sadili's Girl Power Clubs Africa Celebrates Menstrual Hygiene Day

On 28th May 2016, Sadili's Girl Power Clubs Africa joined organizations around the world in celebrating Menstrual Hygiene Day. But what exactly is this day all about again?

Menstrual Hygiene Day is an annual awareness day that aims to break taboos and raise awareness about the importance of good menstrual hygiene management for women and adolescent girls worldwide. The onset of menstruation is one of the most important changes occurring among girls during the adolescent years and it helps a great deal when girls are guided on how to go about it.

Throughout the past week from Tuesday 24th May, Ms. Everlyne Sigilai, Mr. Kevin Ayuko and Ms. Joy Akim who are social educators from Sadili Oval were visiting schools around Nairobi providing guidance and positive information around menstruation, and yesterday’s occasion marked the end of their campaign.

The event, held at Olympic High School in Kibera, was fun, challenging and equally enlightening. In the first session, the educators gave a general talk about menstruation and hygiene. The discussion revolved around: the meaning of menstruation, how to use and dispose sanitary pads, how to make and use reusable pads from soft clothes, how to use menstrual cups, understanding the menstrual cycle activity and group discussions about menstrual experiences.

This was followed by a session where the girls had a chance to ask questions. It is at this point that I discovered that the subject of menstruation is still clouded by deep-rooted taboos and myths that create the illusion that it is dirty and shameful.  To this day, some girls still believe that a woman (or girl) on her period should not be allowed to go to Church or anywhere next to the kitchen because she is dirty. It took a lot of time and energy for the social educators to convince them otherwise.

The question and answer session was followed by a short games session, then a quiz based on menstruation and finally snacks. The girls were asked to spread the word about menstruation to other girls, and were given posters to stick on walls around the school.

Girl Power Clubs Africa is a leadership program focused on providing girls with a chance to learn life skills and learn to make decisions that affect their lives and their communities positively.

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