Chartered for Compassion Women and Girls Organisation on Saturday donated re-usable sanitary pads to 20 girls at Mkope Community Day Secondary School in Mangochi District.
The aim of the donation was to help them remain in school even during menstruation period.
According to UNICEF reports, Malawi ranks at 42 per cent on girl child marriage and approximately one in two girls are married by the age of 18 while nine per cent of the girls get married at the age of 15.
The decision to donate sanitary pads was made following a study that revealed that more girls in remote areas across the country absent themselves from school during menstruation period as compared to urban areas.
The organization’s Ambassador, Geoffrey Manasseh said Menstruation is a hidden factor which causes school girls to drop out.
“Based on the academic calendar, four months make a term and assuming one misses seven days monthly, this becomes 28 days in each term which is nearly a month. No wonder girls’ performance does not compare well with that of the boys.”
Each girl got six re- usable pads, a bag and a tablet of soap.
It is believed that with the assistance, there would be a difference considering that most of the girls that benefited from the donation come from a poor background.
Manasseh said due to limited resources, the organisation sampled the less privileged girls who literally fail to get even a single pad.
One of the girls, Natasha Hananiya (not real name) said the donation was timely.
“We are bullied by boys when we are undergoing menstruation because of lack of sanitary pads.
“This discourages me to go to school during that time, but with sanitary pads I will be safe to stay in school,” she said.
The donation has been done at a time there are calls to keep the girl child in school for them to be reliable mothers.
Nkhudzi Bay Utale Club launched a ‘Girls not Bride’ Campaign in 2017 in Namkumba Village in Traditional Authority Chiwalo in conjunction with ‘United Religions Initiative (URI) Southern Africa Region.
In 2018, a UK-based family of Belinda Simpson trained 17 URI cooperation circles on how to make sanitary pads and further donated a girls’ washroom at Nkhudzi Bay Primary School.
By By Mphatso Nkuonera- Mana