Provide Menstrual Hygiene Logistics In Schools- ODF

 

NANA HEMAA Awindor, Executive Director of Obaapa Development Foundation (ODF), has disclosed how children are abused, raped, impregnated due to the lack of logistics for menstrual hygiene.
According to her adolescents especially school going persons miss classes due to their inability to get themselves sanitary pads during menstruations.

She has therefore implored government and other relevant stakeholders to consider equipping schools with free sanitary pads to ensure female students attend classes to enable them compete with their male colleagues.
Nana Hemaa Awindor reiterated that there were situations where parents get irritated when their children asked them for sanitary pads to the extent that they (parents) beat their wards.

“Do you know that children are abused these days because of sanitary pads? Children don’t go to school because of the fear of dripping or the fact that they don’t have enough facilities or logistics when they are having their periods,” she quizzed, appealing to stakeholders in education to bring relief to the school girls who find themselves in this situation.

The ODF Executive Director, who doubles as the Nkosuohemaa of Afigya Kwabre was speaking at the climax of a week-long Menstrual Hygiene Day celebration at Kentikyiren in the Atwima Kwanwoma District of Ashanti where they had advocacy programs with the indigenes concerning menstrual hygiene and Gender Based Violence (GBV).

With support from Amnesty International, she provided over 1,500 pieces of sanitary pads to the children that attended the event and partnered schools as well as churches within the District.
She stated that there was the need to educate Ghanaians on menstruation for them knows that it was normal and natural but not the fault of a female to have experience it periodically.
“It is very important that we continue the education and get it down to the people so that we would all take very good care of ourselves. We instituted the “sanitary pad bank” last year at various schools after giving out sanitary pads to them and Ghana Education Service (GES) excitingly have taken it up as a project. It started with giving each school a box of sanitary (about 96 pieces) which was given by UNFPA and we want to appreciate them for their initiative,” she added.

Nana Hemaa Awindor expressed her excitement that that GES this year, has instituted that all schools have sanitary pad bank in their school.
This she explained would prepare for unaware and impromptu menstruations and also make provisions for others that may be in need of the pads.
Mrs. Doris Ofori, district education director, Atwima Kwanwoma, commended Obaapa Development Foundation for the wonderful work they continue to do for the holistic development and empowerment of the youth, most especially, the adolescent girls in the district.
The partnership between the District Education Directorate and Obaapa Development Foundation, she disclosed had given them lots of results over the period.

Among the achievements she enumerated were that, school girls at all levels and women in our schools and communities within the district have been more empowered and enlightened to deal with menstrual hygiene and its related issues comfortably.

She added that through the awareness and sensitization programmes, all schools were to create and set up Pad Bank which will influence the punctuality and regularity of girls to school since their needs are taken care of during menstrual periods.

Mrs, Ofori also noted that schools in deprived areas in the district have received sponsorship packages to set up Life Pad Banks, where materials for the management of menstruation will always be available in such schools for the girls.
Through the partnership with ODF, the directorate she disclosed had lots of girls, women and even men doing advocacies in the form of supports, encouragements, sponsorships, and sensitizations on the benefits and advantages of proper menstrual hygiene management practices.
This she explained had become a daily routine and regular activity among girls, women and men in our schools and communities.

“Through this partnership, officers, head teachers and teachers, as well as the learners and students have built strong links with prominent people in the country. There has been a very good cordial rapport among stakeholders, such as, traditional and religious leaders, head teachers and teachers, educationists, technocrats, politicians, and many others that you all can add to the list,” she concluded.

Nana Boa Amponsem, Kontihene Abusuapanin of Kentinkyiren on his part gave a sounding testimony on how impactful last year’s menstrual hygiene week celebration had on him.
“The church visit and durbar gave me the platform to gain deeper insight and knowledge on menstrual hygiene management and how to support my girls during those times. I now understand and feel comfortable during such periods and make sure some of the menstrual hygiene products are available before the period starts,” the traditional ruler shared, thanking ODF and Nana Hemaa Awindor for their education.

There were other personalities and representatives who gave their good will messages. Amongst them were Unity Queens Ghana, Amnesty International Ghana, Regional Education Directorate, CHRAJ, Marie Stopes Ghana and many others.

FROM David Afum, Kumasi

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