My name is Deborah. I was 16 years when I celebrated my last birthday. I enrolled in the safe space lessons under the Girls’ Power Initiative Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights (ASRHR) programme in 2015. As a level ‘2’ student, I was among the large number of girls who could not have access to information on personal hygiene and how to take care of themselves during menstruation; not knowing the proper materials to use to absorb menstrual flow and stay healthy. This was a problem to my reproductive health as I was vulnerable to infections.
Before enrolling in the programme in 2015, I was motivated when I heard that GPI provides information on ASRHR which I could not access from my parents and school. Before joining GPI, I lacked good communication skills, and the basic skills to handle issues on friendship and sexuality as a whole, but now I can express myself in a polite and assertive manner. I have come to accept myself the way I am and show a high level of comportment in the midst of people.
Before now I was always scared of disposing used sanitary pads due to the fear that it could be used for diabolic purposes. This resulted in a poor personal hygiene as my room was always stinking due to used pads I kept in the house. Through the GPI programme I learned that it is a myth and now I properly dispose any sanitary pad I use thereby maintaining good personal hygiene.
My advice to other young girls concerning menstruation is that first of all after experiencing their menarche, there is a tendency for their monthly menstrual flow to skip; they should not panic because it is normal. Also they should endeavor to use sanitary pads or clean and sterilized pieces of cloth as an alternative when there is no money for sanitary pads to absorb menstrual flow. These they should do among others to always maintain good personal hygiene and to avoid infections. I want to say thank you to GPI for giving me this opportunity