NGOs distribute menstrual pads, hygiene kits to students in IDP camp

Two NGOs, Civitas Auxillium Foundation (CAF) and BHAJ Helping Arm Foundation, on Friday, donated essential items to schools in Wassa Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Abuja.

The NGOs specifically distributed sanitary pads and hygiene kits to female students of Moving Star International School, Holy Trinity Academy, Welbired Academy and ECWA Zion Academy, all in Wassa IDPs Camp.

Mrs Elizabeth Duile, the Chief Operating Officer of CAF, said that the idea was to create awareness on menstrual hygiene management, and to dispel some myths and beliefs surrounding menstruation among underprivileged children in the camp.

She said ‘we need to create more awareness and empower the children with the right knowledge about how to take care of themselves on days when they have their menstrual flow.

‘Shockingly, while we were having the lecture, some of the girls said they use rags, tissue paper and other things that are not appropriate for menstrual protection.

‘So, it is important that we create awareness by
educating and empowering them with the right knowledge,’ she said.

Duile acknowledged the challenges of accessing menstrual pad for people in IDPs camps, urging government and other stakeholders to implement policies that would ensure provision of facilities and materials for their well-being.

‘There is need to have toilets in the schools, especially for the girls to be able to have access to clean water and sanitary pads, and for them to freshen up without disrupting their learning.

‘This is because we had cases of girls who do not come to school whenever they are on their period, as they rather stay at home because there’s no toilet in school,’ she said.

Similarly, Dr Adejoke Ogundana, BHAJ Helping Arm Foundation, said the students were educated on menstrual hygiene management to reduce risk of infections during their menstrual cycle.

‘We were able to educate them on proper menstrual management and ways to access hygiene products and breaking stigma.

‘We did not limit it to just the girls; the boys we
re also included so that they can support their sisters and friends, instead of embarrassing or stigmatising them.

‘We delivered these messages also in their native languages to really impact knowledge into them and also help them to be responsible in their environments,’ she said.

Maryam Ibrahim, a junior student of the school, expressed appreciation to the NGOs for the support.

‘I am so happy with this gifts, I always used rags during my menstrual period because my mother here in the IDP camp cannot afford to buy me sanitary pads,’she said.

Similarly, Reuben Obadiah, another student said that he learnt lot on maintaining good hygiene, how to support girls when the need arose, and to fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV).’

Speaking on behalf of the schools, Mrs Chidimma Obiegwue, a teacher in Moving Star International School, said that the gesture would reduce student challenges of accessing sanitary pads and absent from school during menstrual period.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria