At the beginning of this week, the CITW Zambezi team was able to carry out a large reusable sanitary pack distribution to approximately 100 young girls from Grades 5 through 7 at Mizpah Primary School just outside of Victoria Falls. The packs were made by a local group of ladies who work under the banner of the Days for Girls organisation.
The packs contain underwear that was generously donated through US-based Tasimba LLC. Along with the underwear, the packs contain multiple reusable absorbent liners, waterproof shields, soap, a washcloth and an information sheet.
CITW believes that these packs are extremely essential for the young girls at Mizpah. Menstruation is a healthy and natural part of the reproductive cycle, yet many children and adolescents in the region experience both period poverty (not having access to safe, hygienic, menstrual products) and period stigma. Misinformation and lack of basic sanitary products more often than not lead to these girls being out of school during their period, or they feel ashamed of this natural process. As a result of this, CITW Zambezi strongly believes in ensuring every child has access to basic sanitary-wear and knowledge about menstruation as a means to ending period stigma.
Therefore, during the distribution a representative from Days for Girls assisted CITW by not only demonstrating to the girls how the reusable sanitary-wear works, but also provided a highly informative talk on menstruation, which addressed and debunked many stigmas surrounding it.
Additionally, in a bid to further break down the stigma, ten boys were invited to be a part of the talk, and they were given the opportunity to learn all about menstruation too, touch the reusable sanitary-wear and begin to understand that there is nothing wrong with a girl’s natural menstrual cycle.
CITW’s main outcome for this distribution is that these young ladies will now have all the resources and knowledge they need to ensure that they do not have to miss any more school going forward.
Because after all, a period should end a sentence, and not a young girl’s education.