In December 2020, schools reopen in Nepal, after a long closure due to the pandemic. Conduct training and gathering of many people were restricted. Schools are conducting class in a regular basis just from January 2021. This allow Helpcode staff to conduct orientation on Menstrual Hygiene Management to all the targeted girls who receive the hygiene kits in all the Secondary and Lower Secondary schools in Chitwan.
Sheila make aware of targeted girls and other participants about the misconception, general practice, hygienic behaviour on monthly cycle and the negative impact of unhygienic practice on women health.
Hygiene kit were distributing to 500 adolescent girls of different schools: each kit was composed by 2 set of reusable sanitary pad; 1 packet of reusable pad, 1 piece of underwear, nail cutter, 2 pieces of soap, 2 face masks, 1 comb, 1 set of toothpaste and brush.
The target schools in the municipality of Ichchhakamana in Chitwan were the following:
- Sarbashanti secondary School: 150 girls
- Triveni Barah Secondary school: 110 girls
- Shree Secondary School Dhungre: 37 girls
- Shree Majhgaun Secondary School: 45 girls
- Shree National Basic School Fishling: 22 girls
- Shree National Basic School Pamdada: 15 girls
- Shree National Basic School Chanaute: 11 girls
Also Shree Pashupatinath Secondary School in Makwanpur reached 110 girls, so to a total of 500 adolescent girls that receive the kits and orientation at schools.
Sheila asked the girls how they manage menstrual hygiene during the previous month with school closure. During the period of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, majority of the girls have used the traditional type of pads made by old cloth pieces. Some of the girls from nearing highway have used the non-reusable pads.
The impact of sanitary pad in the rural community school is very positive and milestone for those girls who usually being absent in school during the menstrual period. Similarly, Helpcode interventions break the misconception and misunderstanding about menstrual process. Girls and teachers feel free to talk about menstrual hygiene.
Helpcode staff did the awareness program before distributing the educational materials to the all students. Moreover, Sheila and the teachers are frequently monitoring the impact of re-useable sanitary pads too. Everyone feel easy and safe to wear.
It is important to see that after this awareness activities, many girls feel comfortable to speak about their menstrual cycle, their practice of hygiene management in public. Even boys do not feel boring and hesitation to hear in the awareness program in the mass.
We are very grate to all the people that contribute to spread this project to favour girls’ education and women empowerment in the management of their health. Moreover, local authority and Nepal government has started to supply sanitary pads in community schools from this year. This is an important achievement to increase sustainability and the participation and retention of girls at schools.
With happy period, we are happy to improve girls’ health and wellbeing!