By Angela Atabo
Some women and girls in Kabusa community Abuja, have commended an NGO, ‘The Messenger of Hope International Foundation’, for supporting them with pads and menstrual hygiene skills to cushion period poverty.
Period poverty is the lack of access to sanitary products and menstrual hygiene among others.
The Ministry of Women Affairs says 37 million girls and women in Nigeria cannot afford menstrual hygiene products due to high cost.
This implies that every month, they are unable to safely manage their periods.
Mrs Deborah Bary, a housewife, said that since sanitary pads became N800 each, its affordability had become a challenge.
“Most times we women here use pieces of clothes for our menstruation; so, with what we have learnt and with these pads that have come to our community today, life will be easier.
“I am very happy for these free pads, and I pray that God Almighty will reward and bless the hand that was provided in Jesus name,” she said.
Another woman, Mrs Maimuna Aliyu, said that it had been a long time since she bought pads since the prices skyrocketed, adding that the free pads and lecture received was a blessing.
“At least the money we would have used to buy pads would be used to buy food items,” she said.
A teenager, Miss Happy James also expressed gratitude for the menstrual hygiene empowerment adding that her mother stopped buying her pad in 2020 because of the high cost.
Another teenager, Omotola Oluronlake, said: “For giving us free pads today, the NGO has helped a lot of people who are not able to get pads.
“I pray they get more sponsors so that they can keep helping people like us.”
Miss Zainab Musa, also a teenager, said she had never used a pad before because she grew up seeing her mother cutting pieces of cloth for her sisters to use during their periods.
“So, since I started my period, it is the cloth I have been using. Thank God, they gave me a pad, I will know how it feels to use one,” she said.
Ms Mary Odu, a nurse. while enlightening the community on menstrual hygiene, said it was important because it helped females to stay safe from infection and stay clean.
She said: “So we spoke today about proper hand washing before and after using the pad and proper disposal of the pad.
“Then we spoke about nutrition, eating well, taking enough fluid exercising and we spoke about a lot of things. So, they were very excited.”
Ms Chinwe Ogbuja, Founder, The Messenger of Hope International Foundation, said the project was part of the “pad my period campaign” a campaign around menstrual health.
According to Ogbuja , the outreach is aimed at teaching people in communities about menstrual health and hygiene and also lend our voice to ending period poverty by giving out sanitary pads to females.
“Period poverty is endemic, and it is in our system, so we decided to come to Kabusa community as one of the outreach points, and on Friday we are going to Durumi one for the same thing, to carry out advocacy and curb period poverty.
“There are two other phases of this project which is to train the girls in digital literacy and the aim of that is to achieve three things.
“First, it is to make them digitally literate, secondly, to help them to have a voice online, so they can also join the conversation around women’s health.
“There is also empowerment, because once they are empowered to buy their own pads, it will end period poverty.”
She said that the last phase of the project would be to seek for some form of legislation on the government’s commitment to ending period poverty and ensuring that girls had safer and healthier periods.
The Chief of Kabusa, Samuel Kpowu, commended the foundation for the kind gesture.
“The way I feel, my mouth cannot say it all, but I am very grateful to the NGO for choosing Kabusa to bring this benefit to us.
“I am really happy; you can also see that my people are happy.
“The advice that I will give to other Nigerians is that whosoever has the means to help the poor masses, let him do it. This is the right time to do it because things are going way higher.
“NGOs are trying but I want to recommend that if you know that you are capable of doing something for the masses, come and join because something like this is a blessing from God and He will bless you,” he said. (NAN)
Edited by Kadiri Abdulrahman/Bashir Rabe Mani