Teaches Proper menstrual hygiene and donates sanitary pads to students of B.C.H.S Nkwen-B’da
By Ikome Christie-Noella Eposi
With its mission of “Putting People First”, the African Center for Advocacy (ACA) has maintained that menstruation is not a taboo and should be made a normal fact of life by 2030. The non-governmental organization represented by its Advocacy Officer Sandra Ndang made the revelation this Friday May 26 2023 where ACA visited the Baptist Comprehensive High School Nkwen, Bamenda to teach menstrual hygiene and donate sanitary pads to some 110 girls from the form 5 and upper-sixth classes at the commercial and grammar sections of the school.
Commemorating the menstrual hygiene day on May 28 2023, which falls under the theme “Making menstruation a normal fact of life by 2030”, the Advocacy Officer of ACA, Sandra Ndang explained that the African Center for Advocacy embarked on the mission firstly because the area (B.C.H.S Nkwen) is in a crisis hit zone and some of the children especially the young girls have not had the proper education on menstrual hygiene and don’t have access to buy their sanitary pads. “We understand the challenges faced by students and parents of that area and we decided to reach out”. She voiced.
She added that the sanitary pads given to them will support them for a while. “We want to end period poverty; we want to fight against menstruation being a taboo by 2030. When we went to the school I also realized that they boys were laughing and shying away when they saw sanitary pads. So that is what we want to fight against. We want to make it a normal fact by 2030”. Sandra Ndang noted.
It is important to state that while at B.C.H.S Nkwen, ACA was able to teach the girls on how to better cater for themselves during their periods, better menstrual hygiene methods and how to properly dispose used pads especially in situations where they don’t have access to pit toilets. A health personnel, Ngefor Angela was also present wherein she further explained menstrual abnormalities, menstrual cycle and also demonstrated how to properly place pad on their pants.
The girls posed questions and got answers especially concerning alternatives for pad (cotton napkin). Pads were thereon distributed to each and every one of them with extra given to students who participated more during the session.
Quizzed on other strategies put in place by ACA to spread the news about menstrual hygiene, Sandra Ndang added that “Asides from such regular visitations to schools, ACA also embarks on social media advocacy since social media is a powerful tool. “Subsequently we will do more radio talks as well as partnering with organizations fighting same course but for now our main tool is by using the social media to disseminate our message and also to support in our little way like what we did in B.C.H.S Nkwen”.
“Before going to the field we didn’t understand that the children’s knowledge about menstrual hygiene was shallow. We will form a coalition in the days ahead with some of the young girls so that it can enable us reach out to other secondary schools and to orphanages as well. We will not stop in the education and sensitization process and subsequently we will extend out tentacles to other areas”. ACA’s Advocacy Officer concluded.
The African Center for Advocacy is non-governmental organization which promotes equal access to basic services to all using comprehensive advocacy strategies and diverse approaches. They empower citizens, strengthen civil society and influence policies. They have a focus on water and sanitation, climate change, good health and well-being and governance.