12-year-old Angelina Jumulla halted in school twice a week even after the school ended. Because for the next few hours, she has cotton cloth, waterproof liner and flannel fabric for making sanitary pad.
There is no taboo period in Lilongwe’s school in Malawi, which separates boys and girls.
Girls and boys make sanitary pads together at the Zoological Primary School’s sanitary club.
In one hour these students make about 10 pad together. Angelina said, “Boys help us in making pad.”
She says, “Girls do not play on talk of their period or playing during this period.”
Its aim is to empower girls to make their sanitary pads, while boys make it for their sisters. Some of these girls are also sold at low prices.
For the past two years, Charity Water Aid had organized programs to promote sanitation in schools, but now more than 25 schools of Lilongwe are operating this program.
Students of MLOSA Primary School make sanitary pads, necklaces and bags
According to UNICEF, during the period, students are usually absent in school while drop out rates are higher in older girls.
The lack of sanitation system in schools has further increased this problem.
Katherine Mangani, matron and school teacher of Sanitation Club says, “Since the program has started, the presence of girls in school has increased.”
Making a suitable replacement pad can help keep girls in school, and women of the local community “mother group” assist girls in inquiring about their questions regarding menstruation.
In other countries where WaterAid Sanitary Pads are training girls for production, Uganda, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Mozambique are involved.
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Events in Nepal also
There is a similar program going on in the rural areas of Nepal, but it has to fight with the creeds of society in running it.
When Claire Lynn started a workshop called “Dhartimata” in Patalkhet village in 2013 to make cheap sanitary pads, then only two women reached there.
She says, “And these women had the support of their husbands.” Now seven local women are working on this project.
Lynn says, “We make different types of eco-friendly pads with different things, cotton pad NGOs and local women are sold cheaply.”
But there is a problem in creating a suitable pad again.
The program is going on to promote sanitation in the school
In the New York City, the Health Service Officer of the African Service Committee, Dr Emily Bishop says, “If they are not cleaned properly, they will not be suitable for health.”
She says, “You can not always hang out to dry again the suitable pads, because there are many social misconceptions related to menstruation.”
This means that clear water and sanitation facilities and mystic related myths need to be told.
Myths of period
Sonal Wankhede, 16, from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, could not attend three of his school exams a year ago. Using the piece of cloth as a temporary sanitary pad, she was uncomfortable leaving her home.
She says, “After joining the WaterAid session, I came to know that the period comes to all the timber. When I first talked to her mother, she said that it is not so important to know this.”
In India, due to the myth about periods, in many places, women do not enter the kitchen during this period or cook them because they are considered as impure during this time.
She says, “Whenever I was involved in the session, she used to tell her mother what she had told in the end, in the end my mother agreed to buy the pad for me, now she has understood this myth … but she does not I do not say anything for cheese, even now I can cook and serve me. ”
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