Youth Leadership Brings Menstrual Equity to Tanzania

MOYODEI is youth-led community organization based in Morogoro, Tanzania. Earlier this year, MOYODEI was selected as a recipient of a One4Her donation of 250 AFRIpads kits to support their team of peer educators in delivering puberty education to local youth. We recently received an update on their distribution efforts. Read on to find out how your purchases are supporting puberty education and menstrual equity for students in Tanzania!

To give you a bit of a background, the “Girls Club” is MOYODEI’s founding program. Our team of peer educators conducts educational outreach at schools and within the community with the aim of improving knowledge, behaviors and self awareness among youth. These dedicated young women use peer education, discussion, debate and drama to addresses critical issues such as sexual health, gender discrimination and environmental protection.

This year the Girls Cgirls_club_demonstration1lub has focused on forming school health clubs at primary and secondary schools in remote areas where health education is lacking and most needed. They visit the clubs twice a month, covering topics such as puberty, the reproductive system, condom use and STIs.

Since March they have reached 5 schools and 1 community group, educating over 250 boys and girls on the topic of menstruation, including an AFRIpads demonstration. The schools vary from those closer to the town of Morogoro, to those in remote locations, only accessible by local transportation.

Having benefited from the AFRIpads first-hand since January, our peer educators have become experts at explaining their proper usage: the 12-month use period, tips on how to wear (they’ve started bringing demo underwear to show how it all fits together!), cleaning and drying, and bringing an extra pad to school.

I can tell you from seeing the girls when they receive an AFRIpad package, each recipient has a big smile on their face. The male students also receive the education, helping to increase their knowledge of the reproductive system and reduce stigma. It’s not uncommon for the Girls Club to arrive at a school to find 200 students eager to learn!

Many girls stay home from school during their period. The Girls Club leaders mentioned to me how many students use local solutions, such as folded kanga material, which is uncomfortable and unreliable. They explained to me that menstruation education is rarely covered in schools, resulting in students feeling uncomfortable explaining the reason they were absent to their teacher. We thought you might appreciate a quote from our two Girls Club leaders themselves:girls-clug-underwear-demonstration

“The AFRIpads help us as peer educators as a visual teaching tool when we provide education on menstruation. The pads also help the students feel
comfortable attending school on their days of bleeding and reduce their absenteeism.”
– Zainabu Ramadhani Mponda, Girls Club Peer Health Educator (translated from Swahili)

“The AFRIpads allow us to provide education at distant villages and still feel comfortable traveling and teaching. We don’t have to miss a day of field work due to our period. We are very happy to have such good quality pads that are thinner and more absorbent than local solutions (bulky, folded kanga material). We can run, play netball and not miss a day of work.” – Hadija Baraka Muro, Girls Club Peer Health Educator (translated from Swahili)

 

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