Changing the menstrual experience for young girls in Warri, Nigeria

Hope and Dreams Initiative held an event at PIND conference training hall in Warri, Delta State with 40 students from seven different schools to mark the 2017 International Hygiene Menstruation day Celebration. The schools namely, Toberise BASIC School Oghara, Ogiame Primary School, Dora Numa College, Egbokogdo Secondary, and Primary School, Younna Secondary School. Dr. Elohor Imiruaye of Lee Clinic, Warri in Delta State. Dr. Elohor all joined to mark the event.

The event workshop which followed addressed clearly that the concern that wrong attitudes would continue if girls and boys were not given adequate education concerning menstruation and how to handle challenges associated with it.  A simple explanatory lecture about the significance of menstruation and the importance of keeping clean during and after menstruation was also given.

Faith, a junior student from Tobrise Basic School, Oghara in Delta State, shared her first-period experience with all those in attendance at the workshop.

She said that at first, she thought that she was hurt and was bleeding and she would cut pieces of rags to protect the blood from staining her uniform, but a friend later explained to her that she was menstruating and could get pregnant if she becomes sexually intimate with a boy.

Laura a student from Egbokogdo Secondary School, also shared that she uses rag for her sanitary products and has no access to sanitary pads because her family is very poor.

All 40 students in attendance went home with individual hygiene bags all filled with reusable and disposable sanitary pads, deodorant, and a toothpaste/brush.

In overall, Hope and Dreams Initiative was able to donate 70 hygiene bags to 70 students from 12 different schools.

The goal of the event was to bring young girls from different schools together in a bid to educate them about their menstrual cycle, the importance of Menstruation and other health-related issues and as an organization whose main goals are EDUCATION, MENSTRUATION AND HYGIENE we believe that Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities with soap should be provided in the schools as part of efforts to make them menstrual friendly to encourage girls to be in school during their menstrual periods, since most girls stayed away from school during their menses which consequently affects their academic performance.

And these three key elements are important, which included awareness creation on menstruation and a menstrual-friendly environment in schools, would help empower girls to stay in schools and help improve their academic performance.

We believe that education about Menstruation changes everything and it starts with us.