Second Menstrual Health Education Project
Savelugu Municipal in the Northern Region of Ghana on 28th May 2021.
This is our second menstrual hygiene project for the year 2021 and was in partnership with Grooming Girls Network and HNDP, these organizations are based in Accra and are passionate about menstrual education for girls. Grooming Girls Network has been our reliable partner since 2018 whereas HNDP became our second partnership for the first time.
This project aimed to educate young girls in Junior High schools in the Savelugu community on their menstrual cycle, how to keep themselves during their period, the right people to seek help from when having challenges and introduce reusable cloth pads and menstrual cups to them.
Our previous projects were done for two or three days, but this project took a day which was 28th May 2021, a day declared as Menstrual Hygiene Day by WASH United.
We didn’t embark on this project alone but had support from the National Service Personnel in the Savelugu area as well as volunteers from the community through the Ghana Volunteers network.
We kicked off the pre-preparation by meeting the volunteers a day before the actual project which was on 27th May 2021 to educate them on what is expected of them and how they can be of help. This went on smoothly as most of them turned up for the meeting and were abreast as to what is supposed to be done on the day of the project.
Menstrual Hygiene Day 2021
The program took place at the Savelugu disability centre with a total number of 100 young girls from 17 schools in the community including a school for the deaf. With the age range of 13-16 years, most of them seemed to be menstruating but had no or little knowledge of how it happens or even how to keep themselves during these times of their lives.
We had two rooms for the program which contained 50 girls in each room with all available materials which were used in educating them about their menstrual hygiene.
In the course of interacting with the girls, we realised most of them do not talk to anyone concerning their periods because people still think it’s taboo to menstruate hence, they kept questions bothering them to themselves.
The volunteers did a great job as some of them translated the presentation into their local language as most of the students couldn’t understand English well. A teacher also helped interpret the session to the deaf students through sign language.
We had breakout sessions to allow the girls to freely express themselves in small groups and also answer some questions and as well as ask questions that were bothering them. The girls indeed had lots of questions which with the help of health personnel present, we were able to answer. We also engaged them in a game centred on explaining the various terms associated with menstruation such as ovulation, menstrual cycle, among others. This was to help them grasp the concept we were presenting to them.
During the interaction with the girls, we found out that;
- The girls have lots of questions about their period but don’t know whom to talk to for fear of discrimination.
- Most of them are not aware of the measures to take to reduce cramps.
- Most of the girls can’t afford to buy sanitary pads because they’re expensive and as a result, men take advantage of them by sleeping with them in exchange for pads.
- Some people in the community see menstruation as taboo.
We had a very intensive and comprehensive project this time and it was a great success. We managed to answer all the questions the girls had, advised them as to who to talk to when having challenges as well as how to manage the period cramps. We also shared cloth pads for all the students present which can last them for about 2-3 years and the cups which lasts for 10 years. We had lots of people on board who helped make the program a success, some media personnel and health personnel were present together with other dignitaries. We managed time well which helped us to end the program on time.