Every year on May 28th, menstrual and reproductive health advocates across the globe come together to amplify their voices through different activities as part of the Menstrual Hygiene Day celebrations. For us at Girls Excel, we also use this month to commemorate how far we have come while acknowledging that the road ahead of us is long. For the first time, Girls Excel organised three different events in Buea, Mokindi and Bamenda as part of our activities to commemorate world menstrual hygiene day in Cameroon.
Menstrual Health is Crucial in times of crisis
On May 28th Girls Excel collaborated with Cameroon Chevening Alumni Association (CAMCHEV) and Ablewomen Cameroon to support over 45 internally displaced girls and women in the Mokindi community, South West region of Cameroon with access to menstrual hygiene management. The event was organised as part of our activities to commemorate menstrual Hygiene Day but we could not ignore the plight of girls and women who are victims as a result of the crisis in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon. We focused on menstrual hygiene management in emergency, providing emergency health education, skills acquisition for young displaced women as well as health support to elderly women. We also had practical sessions for the production of reusable sanitary pads and the making of pastries as business skills for the IDP women and girls.
Our GEM Club members leading the change in Bamenda during MH Day
Another activity was organised on Saturday the 25th of May 2019, the amazing girls at the Girls Excel Mentoring club in Bamenda organised in partnership with World Vision for Education (WVED) and funded by the British High Commission, Yaounde joined the entire community to celebrate the world menstrual Hygiene day. The main objective of the club activity on this day was to raise awareness and combat taboos associated with menstrual hygiene with the goal of enabling women and girls to achieve their full potentials . It was celebrated on the theme: “It’s Time To Take Action”. Women from different works of lives were invited to talk and encourage the club members on Menstrual health and other issues affecting the girl child. During the sessions, the girls continued with the production of reusable sanitary pads. We are happy to share that the girls already learned how to stitch the underlying adhesive layer, middle absorbent layer and adhesive wings.
Girls Excel joins HERO to commemorate MH day with university students
On Saturday the 11th of May 2019, Girls Excel in collaboration with HERO Cameroon organised a training workshop to educate first year and second year university students from the faculty of health sciences, university of Buea on issues surrounding menstruation, the menstrual cycle, menstrual hygiene management and the use of the menstrual beads to keep tract of their menstrual cycle. It was very interacting and exciting as the students asked pertinent questions such as:
- Is it possible for someone to get pregnant when you are menstruating?
- How do you dispose of your used pad when you are out of home? All of these questions were answered by the team of formidable medical doctors from HERO Cameroon who came in their numbers to support the young women participating in the workshop.
The last section of the workshop was developing the menstrual beads using the average 28days menstrual cycle. This was done by Mercy Dinka’a from Girls Excel who divided the 34 participants into four working groups to ensure proper followup. These beads will help the students to better understand their bodies and the many changes that take place monthly. Using practical hands on techniques, Mercy taught the students how to each make their own menstrual bead. The training ended with handing of certificates and participants signing up to be peer educators and facilitate similar workshops in their communities.