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Umodzi Youth Organization Donates Reusable Sanitary Pads To BT School…Pupils Thrilled

By Lizzie Phiri

OVER THE MOON: Pupils showcasing the pads courtesy of Umodzi Youth Organisation

Female learners at Likulu Primary School in Group Village Headman (GVH) Manesi, Kapeni, Blantyre expressed joy upon receiving reusable sanitary pads from Umodzi Youth Organization (UYO) saying it will help curb school absenteeism.

Speaking at the handover ceremony UYO Programs Director Memory Pondeponde said the organization is working tirelessly to help keep girls in school and donating sanitary pads is one of the ways.

“After a thorough research we found out that most girls tend to miss classes when they are having their menstrual periods as such they end up falling behind in lessons which affects their academic performance.

“We believe that the sanitary pads which are being sawn by members from mother groups and school committee within the community will give the girls all the courage to always be at school even during their menstrual periods,” she said.

According to Pondeponde, each girl was given three sanitary pads which will last them for a whole one year or more if well taken care of.

Cecilia Josaya, a standard 8 learner said she had gotten used to missing classes at least four days every month due to lack of proper sanitary necessities during her menstrual periods.

“I have seen my friends being laughed at when they have period stain on their school uniforms therefore, I opt to avoid such embarrassment and stay home during that period. It is very uncomfortable to learn in such environment where boys tend to mock us when something goes wrong.

A female pupil thrilled after her turn

“Receiving these pads is a relief for me as I will no longer miss classes and my class performance will definitely improve,” she said.

Josaya further said that she will share the news with her community members especially girls who completely dropped out of school due to lack of sanitary pads which led them to poor performance in class as such they left.

Concurring with Josaya was the school’s Matron Rita Msope who said girls experience a lot of stigma and discrimination by male learners concerning menstrual periods.

“We believe that the sanitary pads given will help girls be able to take care of themselves without boys noticing as such everyone will be comfortable to attend classes without any problems.

“As a school we hope to see a change in passing rate as no one will be falling behind especially girls,” said Msope.

UYO partnered with UK-based institution Think Malawi for the provision of sewing machines and sewing materials for the production of sanitary pads to be freely distributed to girls at menstruating age.

A sample of the pads

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