We had an exciting morning at Lesedi Primary School in Victoria Falls, distributing sanitary packs to the Grade 5 girls. This project was initiated by Mr Wilson, an Overseas Adventure Travel guest who travelled to Zimbabwe and was struck by the plight of girls as they deal with menstruation. After returning to the US, Mr Wilson got together a group of people to hand sew reusable sanitary pads to help these girls and has been sending packs for distribution over the past year. This time, however, he was able to be at the distribution in person which was very special.
Now partnered with Days for Girls, a non-profit organisation that focuses on providing sustainable menstrual solutions for girls, Mr Wilson and his group have created comprehensive sanitary packs with sets of underwear, reusable pads, a towel, soap, and a spare plastic bag so that the girls have everything they need.
All the Grade 5 girls at Lesedi Primary School were brought together and given a demonstration of how to use the reusable pads. An explanation was also given as to the benefits of using reusable pads instead of disposable ones. A primary healthcare worker who accompanied us gave an educational and motivational talk to the girls about looking after themselves and not giving up on what they want to achieve in life. At the end of the talk each girl was given a sanitary pack to equip them for when they start menstruation.
Menstruation is a significant challenge for girls in these poverty-stricken rural areas, forcing many to skip school. This means that they miss out on a considerable amount of learning time each year. Having the sanitary packs will allow the girls to continue attending school, ensuring that they are not disadvantaged.
We were also able to use this opportunity to show our attachment students here at CITW Zambezi another school that we work with, enabling them to get involved with the students and distribution process. This outing has given them an idea of the kind of projects that CITW facilitates and that they will be getting involved in through the course of this year.
The effort in making these packs is hugely appreciated and they will go a long way in making a difference in these girls’ lives. We are so grateful for Mr Wilson and the continued support he and his group are providing.