I am a girl child. I was born in the city, grew up as a ‘butty’ girl, didn’t go outside to play with the street kids, played with dolls, watched cartoons, went to great schools, ate oats, sandwiches, coffee for breakfast, took doughnuts and cupcakes and yogurts to school as lunch, had milk and baked beans for dinner, called Papa ‘dad’ and mama ‘mum’ , third term breaks were ‘summer holidays’ and I spent them with grandma every time she came back from London, started writing diaries at age nine, loved the smell of natural roses; white and red. I was a daddy’s girl, over pampered and spoilt, hated the word ‘village’…. I was born in the city, and I grew up only in the city. The city was my haven. I was SAFE!I am a girl child. I was born in the city, grew into my teenage years in Lagos, had my first ‘toaster’ before I turned twelve, felt myself so much, fresh face, fresh smiles, fresh fineness. I was able to know the difference between real and just fake fuzz! I could pass for wise and big in my brain. I was SMART!I am a girl child. I was born in the city and almost all the city’s goodness was mine… Except Pads. The day I saw that thing called period, I cried. I had no idea what it was so I thought I was dying. I couldn’t speak with my mum because, well, because and so I ran to my dad. He went with me to my mum and she said ‘Neye, so you could not come and meet me abi! Okay!’ She went to her room and gave me a tissue roll. She taught me how to securely put it together and make it safe inside. It stuck. Then tissues weren’t just comfortable anymore… My aunt came, she used clothes. It was more comfortable. No tissues would hang around in my vagina, nor threads. No pads. Mummy grew up in the village. She wasn’t trained that way so I wasn’t. She said some times, in her time, they even used leaves. You can only give what you have. That’s the way. Then I had infections…. More times than three. I couldn’t sleep, I cried all night, I itched too. My flow smelled like rot. Drugs, tissues, clothes, more drugs… Then My school was invaded by a Sanitary pad company. We had a health seminar, they taught us and handed pads down. My next flow was the easiest, and the sweetest. I felt like I was just on my panties and that’s it! I had a safe, smart PERIOD!I am a girl child. I was born in the city yet I struggled with an unsafe period for a long time. Now, think, dear friend. If I, who could have had this on a platter of gold, missed it for months because of lack of proper education, then how much more the girls in the rural areas. Every girl child deserves to be safe, to be smart and to have a healthy period.
Some of the main problems faced by women and girls in rural community are:
1. The expense of commercial sanitary pads;2. absenteeism where girls stay at home rather than attending school when menstruating;3.unhygienic ways to dry menstrual materials;4. leakage from poor-quality protection materials;5. limited education about the facts of menstruation;6.limited access to counseling and guidance;7.fear caused by cultural myths;8. embarrassment and low self esteem;
This December at Safe and Smart. PERIOD. we will be distributing free Sanitary pads to 100 girls in a rural community.They will be entitled to a full year sanitary pads donation
We will also be educating them on proper hygiene and reproductive health living.With only Three thousand Naira (#3000) you would have paid for a girl’s sanitary pad for a year.
Donate to save her from illness and embarrassment, Send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or text 08188902591.
Click on here to volunteer.