...says Covud-19 has increased suffering among girls in amrginalised communities
MWENEZI - As part of efforts to contribute to the wellbeing of underprivileged girls, a 20-year-old girl last week launched her Pad a Girl Child campaign by distributing some sanitary pads to selected girls from local primary and secondary schools in Ward 18, Mwenezi East.
Sakhile Mswela said she was motivated by the desire to improve menstrual hygiene among girls from underprivileged and not-so-privileged backgrounds.
Mswela said the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown had worsoned poverty levels in traditionally needy communities, making the need to intervent for the sake of the girl child even more pressing.
Selected pupils from Sacred Heart High School, Rutenga Primary School, G and N Mission secondary and primary schools gathered at Mswela’s homestead at Rutenga growth point on December 15 where they received the donations.
Mswela, who is pursuing a diploma in social work, said the girl child in Mwenezi and other rural areas suffered immense inconveniences and pressure during their monthly periods due to lack of proper sanitary wear.
"This is my first time getting involved in work of this nature and I am pleased to do it. I have started by working with local schools with the hope that by early next year, I will expand to schools which are in the resettlement areas of the district. It is my vision to make this initiative bigger and better
"The Covid-19 pandemic has made many familes even more vulnerable to socila pressures and such necessities as sanitary wear for the girl child is increasingly getting viewed as an expendable luxury,” said Mswela.
She said she realised that many rural school girls missed school for many days in a month as they did not have proper sanitary wear to sit in class with confidence.
She urged women and girls to take the lead in uplifting each other so that men themselves would emulate them in support of a more just society.
G and N Secondary School head Blessed Chirove, who was the guest speaker at the launch, urged school girls to be strong and not let anything stand in their way to success.
The girls were also give some lessons on how to properly handle sanitary wear as well as how to properly dispose of it once it has been used.