Shot in the arm for Sagwari Sec female learners

  Cuthbert Mashoko

MWENEZI-The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe Rutenga Youth Forum has come to the rescue of the girl-child at Sagwari Secondary school in Mwenezi by donating the much needed sanitary wear.

 The church led Youth Forum raised 110 packets of sanitary pads which they donated to female students at Sagwari Secondary on 31 May.

The brains behind the project, Tariro Mangena who is director of the Pad the Girl-child campaign, in an exclusive interview with The Midweek Watch, said that she came up with the idea after observing that the retail shops in the Sagwari area rarely stock sanitary wear.

“l once worked in the Sagwari area. Sanitary wear is off shelve more often, which is a disaster for women and the girl-child” shared Mangena.

The sanitary wear donation was a major relief to the girl-child in this remote area. It was also an opportunity for the young girls to learn about sexual health from the Lutheran Youth Forum which took them through lectures on the subject.

 Most girls at puberty stage may feel stressed and emotionally disturbed by the changes which characterise adolescence. In some cases the girl-child is at the losing end as they miss school due to inadequate sanitary wear. “We also took time to educate the young girls on how to take care of themselves and to be proud of themselves,” said Prominent Zarenyika who is a peer educator for the Lutheran Youth Forum.

One of the beneficiaries of the sanitary wear, Chipo Maruza a form two pupil appreciated the gesture by the Lutheran Youth Forum and thanked them for the timeous donation.

“We really appreciate the Lutheran Youth Forum for remembering us in such a big way. We are grateful to them,” said the young learner.

Sagwari Secondary head, Marvellous Chifumuri praised the Lutheran Youth Forum for playing a pivotal role in the educational journey of the girl-child.

“I thank the Lutheran Youth Forum for being there for the girl-child, l call upon others to emulate the good gesture to vulnerable societies, for this should not to be a one off event,” shared Chifumuro.

The plight of the rural girl-child is a matter of grave concern in the education sector as they oftentimes miss school due to lack of sanitary wear.

 Lack of hygienic sanitary wear, often forces the young girls to use unhygienic alternatives such as use of leaves and old cloth during their cycles which exposes them to infections and cancer.

 This is exacerbated by cultural stereotypes which consider it a taboo to discuss sexual health, which is prevalent in most societies in Zimbabwe .This calls for Government and other stakeholders to intervene by ensuring that, sanitary wear is accessible to the girl-child at schools and health facilities at zero cost.

 Health Clubs at schools which educate both boys and girls on sexual health reproduction can also make a difference.

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