As Lide Infinite Skills Africa (LIDEISA) is stepping up its fight to demystify menstruation taboos in rural schools to ensure no girl misses lessons because of menstruation, the organization has been appreciated by pupils and head teacher of Kitagobwa UMEA Primary School located in Ngando sub-county in Butambala district.
“I have learnt how to perfectly use pads without blood outflow,” Nalwanga Sunaje, a P.7 pupil said “I am now more confident and proud about menstruation periods than before when I had to stay at home waiting for end of my periods to come back to school.”
She thanked “LIDEISA for donating me their LIDEISA reusable sanitary pads which are going to be very helpful to me because I will not have to worry about money for sanitary pads anymore, I will just have to keep these ones very hygienic as instructed by LIDEISA trainers and continue with lessons.”
Nandawula Masitulah joined her colleague to say that “I had never received a very serious talk about menstruation since I started it. It has been delivered in a way that makes it fun for all of us to understand and I was very pleased to see even boys and male teachers taught about what we go through and the way they are supposed to support us especially at school instead of bullying us.”
Like Nalwanga she learnt how to fix LIDEISA reusable sanitary pads in her knickers to allow her “safe menstruation without blood leakages. I also thank LIDEISA for donating me these reusable sanitary pads.”
Diriisa Makumbi, the beneficiary school’s Headmaster said, we “have immensely benefited from this session LIDEISA brought us because our girls have been equipped with good information about menstruation, better skills for effective menstrual hygiene and then given free LIDEISA Pads reusable sanitary pads which altogether, will retain them in school.”
On integrating male teachers and boys, Makumbi said it is essential “because males are going to be change champions and now know how they can be helpful to girls who menstruate while at school.”
Last week, the not-for-profit development and education social enterprise which offers holistic hands-on skills education and leadership mentorship, took its ongoing nantionalwide LIDEISA Pads Girls’ Education For Global Goals (LIGEGG) Campaign to Butambala district.
While speaking to 280 participants, boys, male teachers, teachers and school administrators, inclusive, Deo Walusimbi, the Chief Executive Officer said that LIDEISA team is on a “mission to normalize menstruation” through menstrual hygiene management awareness sessions and pads’ donations. In this particular session, LIDEISA donated 50 packs of reusable pads.
“From the responses I have received, I am convinced that menstruation is still a taboo to almost all of you here,” he said, “if we are to make our communities equal and sustainable, it is time we realise that menstruation is just a biological process for all girls and the secrecy surrounding it must end. It is important to normalise menstruation and destroy taboos and stigmatization around this natural process.”
After doing a sampling of the participants’ knowledge and willingness to talk about it, Walusimbi emphasized that “The sensitivity around menstruation means the girls and boys are not receiving any information therefore, open talking about menstruation between teachers and children girls and boys is all it takes to begin a transformation and it’s time we did it, because you would expect it to be a mother-daughter conversation but we realized, it’s not done both at home and that there is no information from schools, hence our resolve to come and do it together.”
LIDEISA’s overall objective in rolling out LIGEGGE campaign is to increase girls’ retention and concentration in school activities, curb spread of menstruation associated taboos and myths-including restriction from social activities, and reduced sexual abuses among poor school girls while exploring alternatives to secure sanitary pads.
Other goals are; increased knowledge on menstrual hygiene management among the younger generation and acceleration of Sustainable Development Goals.