Project “Girl power”!!
Importance of education in the preservation, transmission and improvement of knowledge that brings immense benefit not only to the child but the society cannot be belittled as it ensures potentials are developed for self-actualization . There is no doubt that educating women brings greater benefits to society as family health, child survival, human capital investment, productivity and even average life expectancy experiences significant improvement. Many factors however negatively affect the enrolment and progression of the girl child in school and they include poverty, child marriage, socio-cultural conceptions girl education, as well as biological challenges related to physical and psychological changes at puberty Menstruation, which is indicative of sexual maturation of the female, is rather associated with negativity in several societies sometimes requiring isolation as well as prohibitions from engaging in normal daily activities. There is no doubt that a girl child who remained in school would be more knowledgeable about menstrual hygiene which would also safeguard her health. Management of the menstrual blood must be such as to safeguard the health and dignity of the woman which requires the use of materials that can hygienically absorb all the blood. Before the introduction of sanitary pads, various materials such as ash, feather, soil, cotton wool, cloth, old pieces of mattresses, newspapers among others, were used by women to soak the menstrual blood. Some of these inappropriate blood soaking materials which may be contaminated by infective organisms are still being used by females especially those in rural or impoverished urban areas thereby exposing them to avoidable reproductive tract infections (RTIs. Selection and use of appropriate sanitary products in menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is therefore important to safeguard the health of the post-pubescent female. Governments of India and Kenya as well as several non-governmental organizations in Africa are providing free or subsidized sanitary towel to primary school girls as a way of promoting girl child education but still there is no any significant process can be observed in Sri Lanka related to this topic. By considering all those issues Rotaract Club of Badulla decided to initiate a community service project “Girl power” is an initiative to improve the knowledge about menstrual health and importance of using sanitary napkins.
OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT
- To improve the knowledge about reproductive tract infections caused due to ignorance of personal hygiene during menstruation time.
- Provide an access to sanitary products and improve the knowledge about types and method of using them.
- Educate the society about the myths of menstrual beliefs refer to misconceptions and attitudes towards menstruation within a given culture or religion.
- Create an open platform to discuss about the common issues and solutions related to the menstrual hygiene.
The project is mainly focused on educating young girls in Uva province about the menstrual hygiene and healthy attitudes about menstruation. And provide information about safe school environment because schools often lack the supplies and sanitation facilities that girls need for managing their periods. Girls without adequate health care may feel discomfort or pain. Shame, stigma and misinformation may discourage girls from attending school while menstruating. And also there is plan to distribute sanitary pads to the students while demonstrating the correct way to use and dispose the pads.
Five schools were selected from the Badulla education zone to conduct the workshops under the guidance of zonal education director. The selected schools are:
- Viharamahadevi Girls School
- Vishaka Girls High School
- Tamil Girls School
- Wiyadiguna Madya Maha Vidyalaya
- Kandagolla Secondary School
As the very first step of the project we have conducted a social media campaign with the participation of 20+ Rotaractors. The aim of this social media campaign is to encourage the general public to support the event.
Due to the prevailing situation of the country with regards to the Coronavirus the panned awareness sessions for school girls were postponed and continuing with the hands wide open for the needy, we distributed 100 sanitary napkins for families living under poverty, whose families on a daily wage in Uva Province.
- Donating 100 packs of sanitary napkins-