Foundation distributes sanitary towels to secondary school girls
By Bridget Ikyado
The Nikki Udezue Foundation has distributed sanitary pads to female students of Junior Secondary School, Nyanya Gbagyi, Nasarawa State to promote their personal hygiene.
The donation carried out through an individual donor, #BecauseICan, included 30 packs containing 480 Sanitary towels distributed to the students on Friday.
The Foundation also conducted lectures and trainings for the girls on menstrual hygiene and how to make alternative menstrual pads.
The Founder of Nikki Udezue Foundation, Nkeiruka Udezue, told newsmen that the donor contacted her foundation to carry out the project in Nigeria as part of her birthday celebration.
“We got a call from an individual donor in the United Kingdom, saying the 24th is her birthday and she indicated interest to collaborate with Nikki Udezue Foundation to run this project for her.
“This Pad The Girl Child is directed to our girls, empowering them and educating them on menstrual hygiene so that they will be able to care for themselves during their menstrual period .
“Menstruation has brought about a lot of stigmatisation in the girl child and some of them even miss out on school activities.
“#BecauseICan is the individual donor from the United Kingdom who has indicated that we could give the girls pads, Nikki Udezue Foundation is now giving two cycles of pad to our young girls.
“So, this is to enlighten them, also teach them ways that they can make alternative pads, using cotton wool, clean towels, so that they will be able to manage themselves in an event they cannot afford pads,” she said.
She said the foundation targeted 138 girls but the number increased to 150, saying each one would be given three to four pads each for two cycles.
“We have an American trained Nurse that will lecture them on menstrual hygiene. For now we chose JSS 1 and JSS 2 students about 10-13 age bracket.
” Some of them have started menstruating and some who have not started menstruating will be sensitised in case they started so that they will not be scared on the first day.”
Mbah Deborah-Esohe, a U.S. trained Nurse who lectured the girls on menstrual hygiene, said often times girl children missed out on school activities during their menstrual cycles.
“We are here today to educate the girl child about the menstrual hygiene and its management.
” Often times it is what they know but we just want to sensitise them and give them alternative to the regular menstrual pad that is often used because most of these students stay out of school when they are menstruating, and we wouldn’t want that to continue.
“We want to educate them and give them an alternative to the regular pad that we also use, that is our mission for today,” she said.
The Principal, Government Junior Secondary School, Nyanya Gbagyi, Abdulkareem Silifat, expressed delight over the project in the school.
“They came to sensitise the children. When they told me the date, I informed the children and the parents, they were all happy,” she said.
She said it was also important to extend the training to the boy child because according to her, if the girl child is well groomed and the boy child is not, the society is still not free.
Some students also expressed joy and appreciation for the events.
” I am Ukam Ukamaka and I am 13 years old; I have learnt to take care of myself by not using dirty clothes but to use pad, just as they have given us, or I can use cotton wool.
” I have to wear my pad for only four hours and not 24hrs and I have to be neat, I say thank you to the foundation and the donor, ” she said.
Also Miss Celina Ahmodu, a student of the school said,” I thank the foundation and nurse Deborah who taught us how to use pad, how it cannot be used for a whole day, but at least four to five hours.”