In the month of July, the GlobalGiving team continued with the pad drive initiative to raise funds and purchase sanitary ware. Through the pad drive, the team managed to procure and secure menstrual hygiene items which included ninety-three packets of disposable sanitary pads, forty-four face towels and fifty green bars of soap (thereafter menstrual hygiene kit). The team then proceeded to identify 30 adolescent girls from Matobo district in Ward 1 (Sihwaba Village) who are economically disadvantaged and were assisted. The Community Facilitator assisted in the identification of these young girls.
The Project Officer had a discussion with the adolescent girls before distributing the menstrual hygiene kits. The discussion was centred on life choices, menstrual hygiene, COVID 19 and the vaccine. The young girls were very vocal and despite the challenges they are currently facing they seem to have hopes and dreams they want to achieve. Some want to become nurses, businesswomen, farmers, teachers to mention but a few. The Project Officer encouraged and motivated them that they could become whatever they want if they put their mind and heart to it. She further reminded them to unite, love and support each other as girls as it is the only way to conquer the world.
During the menstrual hygiene discussion, it was noted that indeed the girl child faces triple the challenges or obstacles before they even try to manoeuvre the world. For example, an individual who comes from a disadvantaged background cannot afford to purchase sanitary ware and even other necessities for them to utilise during their menstrual month cycle. Some of the girls indicated that they had to abscond from school during their “time of the month” because of lack of proper sanitary ware, period pains and the general feeling of being “unclean”. Moreover, some use old cloths which are unhealthy especially when they are dyed, not washed, and stored well as it may cause irritation or cancer. Therefore, the hygiene kits they received were going to go a long way and they appreciated the gesture. Each girl managed to walk away with three packets of sanitary pads, a face towel and a bar of soap.
The negative impacts of the Corona Virus have been felt by all corners of the globe. Information about the Corona Virus and its vaccine has been disseminated through radio stations, news, newspapers, the internet, social media, posters and community dialogues. The young girls have heard about the Corona Virus and the vaccine however, there are still sceptical when it comes to the safety of the vaccine. The team managed to share the benefits of getting vaccinated and emphasized that it was their choice to decide whether they would want to get it or not. The Project Officer closed the discussion with a popular saying “prevention is better than cure”.
In the next coming month, the team envisages continuing with the pad drive campaign and is appealing to the GlobalGiving Donors to continue supporting the initiative as they are making a difference. No amount is too small or too big, as it goes a long way. Moreover, the team plans to do more sustainable initiatives such as procuring reusable sanitary pads, training the young girls to make reusable pads, supporting the young girls to start up small businesses so they become economically independent.
In the second quarter, the HOCIC GlobalGiving team purchased sanitary wear for 21 young youngs in a bid to conduct a pad drive in commemoration of World Menstrual Hygiene Day. The team worked with organizations such as Voice of Youth and Children Trust (VOYACT) and Afriprime. The team also conducted a WhatsApp dialogue with adolescent girls on the importance of menstrual hygiene. The young girls were enlightened on the dangers which are accompanied by poor self-hygiene when one is in her menstrual cycle. It is of paramount importance to highlight that the Covid-19 pandemic has left young girls susceptible to life-threatening conditions like cervical cancer as they cannot afford sanitary wear which can assist them to not contract such infections. There were 50 participants who attended the WhatsApp dialogue. The team worked with Self Help Group which is a program under HOCIC. Notable is that the team made a donation to a young adolescent girl in Bulawayo who lives inLobengula. The young girl living with her unemployed father. She lost her mother when she was giving birth to her young brother. Therefore she is staying with a father who is not employed and a stepmother. This team made a donation of 8 packs of sanitary wear, a bar of soap, and a face towel. The young girl showed her gratitude by thanking the HOCIC GlobalGiving team for their kind gesture and how this will assist her as she goes back to school. The young girl highlighted to the team that she would sometimes skip classes at school because she did not have proper sanitary wear. To add to this, she reported that there were occasions where she would improper materials which at the end can cause vaginal infections. It is worth mentioning that the team is still working towards the Padrive and they are doing so through collecting more donations of sanitary wear from well-wishers. The sanitary wear is aimed at improving the menstrual health of adolescent girls from Matobo and Bulawayo.
In the quarter under review, the HOCIC GlobalGiving team received a sanitary wear donation from the Angels Foundation Zimbabwe on the 5th of December 2020 .The donation included packs of 25 disposable and 248 reusable sanitary wear.. It is worth mentioning that this donation contributed immensely in driving the vision of the GlobalGiving program which is to end menstrual poverty among adolescent girls and young women. The team distributed the disposable sanitary wear at Ngozi mine Squatter camp during the Ngozi mine Kitchen soup Week. It is of paramount importance to highlight that Ngozi mine is home to Bulawayo‘s largest rubbish dump which is the final destination for the tons of waste the city produces every day, and also home to over 300 homeless households (approximately 1000 individuals). It is further stipulated that most of the community lives on less than USD$1, 25 per day. The community also lacks easy access to basic health, education and sanitation services. As a consequence this shows that the reproductive health of adolescent girls and young women is not a major concern and therefore this leaves them susceptible to life threatening conditions such as cervical cancer, vaginal thrush and vaginal infections. Therefore in response to this the GlobalGiving team distributed disposable sanitary wear.
In the month of January 2021 the team held a virtual monitoring exercise with the 20 Sista2Sista girls from Matobo ward 11 due to Covid-19 National lockdown. It is of paramount importance to highlight that the adolescent girls had been equipped with skills to make reusable sanitary wear in the last quarter by the GlobalGiving team. In a bid to understand different challenges young girls are succumbing to during the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the girls were asked if they are able to purchase sanitary wear and most of them responded by saying that they could not afford and also they were highly in need of sanitary wear and soap to maintain their reusable sanitary wear hygienically clean. In response to this the team distributed 160 reusable sanitary wear at Matobo Ward 11 in February and the beneficiaries were the 20 Sista2ista girls. The activity was set in motion by giving the young girls a session on menstrual health and how they have to maintain the sanitary wear hygienically clean at all times. The team also attended a webinars which mainly focused on building cross border relations and how to structure a grant proposal. The major take home from the session of building cross border relations was that this builds trust for the organization with other stakeholders. The session on structuring a grant proposal the major take home was that the projects objectives are clearly stated, referencing on all facts stated and presenting an accurate budget.
In the quarter under review, the Access to Sanitary ware project team worked on Youth Casts in partnership with the Gold Youth peer to peer and Shoes2school. This initiative aimed to discuss issues that affect the youth in the form of podcasts that were recorded in one of the local languages which is Ndebele and English. The Youth Casts were facilitated by the Access to Sanitary ware program team who engaged with youths from various sectors. The Access to Sanitary wear team also went to Maphisa ward 11 to conduct a reusable pads training with 20 young women aged between 15 to 20. The training was conducted by a HOCIC community facilitator and she encouraged the young women to practice hygiene and not use dirty cloths and denim material as pads as these could expose them to vaginal infections. The HOCIC team also donated face masks to the young ladies and encouraged them to stay safe and move around only when it’s necessary. The team plans to hold a monitoring visit and also have another training in Maphisa, funds permitting.
The Access to Sanitary ware team successfully conducted a car wash fundraising event. The car wash was conducted from 21st to the 22nd of October 2020.The funds raised are for conducting the monitoring visit in Maphisa Ward 11. The total of $172 USD was raised from the event. It is important to note that other programs within the organization also contributed to make the fundraising a success. This includes Urban Food Assistance and Livelihoods, HOCIC Admin who assisted with refreshments to sale for the fundraising, Securing Rights Program, Lean Season Assistance brought in their cars for a Car wash
In the quarter under review, GlobalGiving was affected by the COVID-19 lockdown however it managed to partner with the Bulawayo Junior City Council on their initiative to help vulnerable women and girls with access to sanitary wear on the realization of the soaring prices of pads which made them unaffordable for people from humble backgrounds. The initiative ran under the theme; “I bleed by nature, you help me by choice” and it called on well wishers to assist in cash and in form of sanitary wear. The Hope for a Child in Christ GlobalGiving team saw it fit to partner in the initiative since it is inline with their mandate of helping girls have access to sanitary wear thus on the 6th of July the team handed over sanitary wear to the Junior Council for donation to the underprivileged. The team managed to purchase 2 boxes of Nina pads though it was ideal to buy more, however the funds constraints restrained the team from purchasing more towards the initiative as it helps in enabling the girl child to have a high self esteem. During the handover ceremony, both parties discussed on sustainable measures that could be used in a bid to guard against the dependency syndrome on sanitary wear and the members of the junior council proposed that they would work with organizations that produce reusable sanitary wear. The HOCIC team encouraged the Junior Council to also conduct teachings on cleanliness and hygiene to guard against the people assisted from getting infections, the HOCIC GlobalGiving team also offered to assist, funds permitting with the acquisition of reusable sanitary wear.
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