Children are vulnerable and the responsibility for these children lies with their parents and with society when the children are young. However, not every young child is lucky enough to receive menstrual hygiene education from their parents or educators. There are many girls in the Kilimanjaro, Arusha regions and Tanzania in its entirety who, due to taboos, have poor knowledge of menstruation. This is a serious issue which should be dealt with by the authorities. Fortunately, Dynamic Community Impact Org (DCI Org) and other like-minded organisations in Tanzania have come together to educate girls about menstrual hygiene and to break down the taboos.
On the 13th of July this year, DCI Org participated in an event in the Arusha region in the Monduli district, which is located in the Northeastern part of Tanzania, close to the border of Kenya and close to the Kilimanjaro region. The school where the event took place is named Ole Sokoine Secondary school, after Edward Sokoine who was a two-term Prime Minister of Tanzania from 1977 to 1984.
We successfully talked about menstrual hygiene to 446 students, 224 girls and 222 boys. The students were energetic and interactive when we were talking about the topic and they asked many questions in order to know more about menstruation.
A few examples of the questions that we received are:
Why can girls have stomach pain when they are on their period?
Why do some of the girls have longer periods than other girls?
Is it a problem when a girl is already 18 years old and never had their period?
Apart from those questions, we gave the students sticky notes to write to us what they learned from us. We received a lot of positive feedback from both boys and girls. They told us that they now know a lot about the menstrual cycle, about how to clean themselves during their periods, about how to wear and remove sanitary pads and about how to dispose of the sanitary pads in the right way. After the event, we also distributed sanitary pads to the girls.
It was a really successful event and we are looking forward to visiting the Ole Sokoine secondary school again and to visiting all other primary and secondary schools around Monduli.
We would like to thank Ole Sokoine secondary schools administration and to thank all students of the Institute of Accountancy in Arusha. Also we would especially like to thank Ayana Philemon for organising her fellow students and making this event happen.