Hawa Trust Fund engages 20 Schools in Makeni on World Menstrual Day
By: Sallu Kamuskay
As Sierra Leone joins in celebration of the world Menstrual day, The Hawa Trust Foundation, a non-government organization that works with children, women and youth in Bombali District together with Marion Tee Koroma and the Bombali District council organized a training for the 20 schools at the Sierra Leone Teachers Union hall ( SLTU) in celebration of the world menstrual day on topics why considering mental hygiene is important, what is menstruation, health problems related to poor mental hygiene, hoe women and girls can keep themselves healthy during their period.
Madam Ramatu Kanu, The chairperson of the event welcomes the children and guess and speakers of the event and told them that she wants the training to be that of an interactive session where children ( female) will share their views on how they approach their menstrual period. She furthered that she, She furthered that she is happy for this initiative by Marion and the Hawa Trust fund to engage school going pupils on how to approach their menstrual period for the first time. She encourages participants to listen to keenly during the training session as it will be beneficial to them
The Lead Facilitator of the training Marion Tee Koroman who was a former contestant of the Miss Sierra Leone beauty contest 2018/19 and health practitioner welcome the children from the 20 schools who graced the training. She furthered that the children should serve as ambassadors after the training and take the message to their schools. During the training,‘’ I have conducted my survey in Bombali District, I realized that over 70% of children between the age of 10 to 15 years don’t know how to take care of themselves when they are in their menstrual period.’’ she reveals. She reveals them the implications and dangers of children who refuse to take of themselves will lead to diseases like reproductive and urinary tract infection. She encourages the teachers and participants to take the message to their schools on the need to be aware and be conscious of themselves, she explains to school going pupils the important of the world menstrual day noting that Sierra Leone is even more serious due to low awareness level on menstruation which has many health risks and complications especially for our young people. She encourages the male participants who were present to look after their sisters at home and should not laugh at them or stigmatize them whenever they are faced with such period, she ended her training noting that they will be donating sanitary pads to both male and female present during the training, the purpose of giving the male participants is for them to go and give their sisters home and also inculcate the habit of encouraging and supporting their sisters whenever they faced with such period.
The Program Director for the Hawa Trust foundation during the training, Amb Mohamed Yahya Janneh thank the speakers and the trainer Mrs. Marion Tee Koroma for the initiative, He furthered that his organization is happy to have teamed up with Mrs. Koroma to implement such an activity, during his training session on the approach of communities to menstrual period, he noted the challenges schools face for water facility, he furthered that during his visits to schools, 8 out of 10 schools don’t have good water facility, he furthered that this is a big problem noting that when children are faced with their menstrual period in schools they need water to clean up themselves, she encourages the teachers and principals to map out a way to ensure that they get good water system in their schools. He ended up his session by encouraging the pupils not to be shy whenever they are in their menstrual period, ‘’ talk to your mum or your guidance when you experience it for the first them, they will guide you on what to do’’ he added.
The training ended up with sanitary pads been shared to the participants from the 20 schools. The beneficiaries during their contributions thank the organizers for such a laudable venture. ‘’ I am surely going to serve as Ambassador in my school, my house, and community to educated my friends and family on how to approach it for the first time’’ a 14-year-old Mariam Kamara told them.