WATERAID, PHIL INTENSIFY MENSTRUAL HYGIENE AWARENESS IN CAPE MOUNT
MONROVIA-WaterAid Liberia and Public Health Initiative Liberia, (PHIL) have intensified menstrual hygiene awareness in Grand Cape Mount County, particularly in Tewor District.
The awareness focused on community residents, religious leaders, local leaders, students, and women groups among others in the different townships in the district respectively.
Speaking during the local leadership clustered meeting on menstrual hygiene in Wellor Town, WaterAid Liberia Integrated WASH Program Officer Lusu Gibson indicated that the meeting was intended to fully educate the local leaders including religious, Community Champions, who were trained by WaterAid to break the silence on menstrual hygiene management and other practices.
She noted that it was vital to involve men and traditional leaders in such meetings to clearly inform them about breaking the silence of menstruation which is a natural thing put in Women by God.
“Since 2019, WaterAid Liberia and PHIL have been working with those communities to provide a safe space for girls in schools to be able to take care of themselves why in school on their messes, “ she said.
According to her, the meeting’s emphasis was for the community’s leaders and the local Government Authorities to plan together a strong sustainability plan and join a community development project to improve menstrual hygiene management in their respective communities.
“We know the issue of sustainability is key in Liberia, most of the international organizations, even local organizations are struggling to maintain programs that donors invest their huge amounts of money into, and the only way we can overcome this, is by working with stakeholders in the communities, local Government structures, to pan along with the community to be able to sustain these activities or programs “she noted.
Madam Gibson further disclosed that the objective of the program for both WaterAid and PHIL is to ensure that after the project ends the community residents and their local leaders including the religious and traditional can take ownership of the program on menstrual hygiene management awareness.
She also expressed the hope that the community residents ensure that those safe space facilities have been provided by WaterAid and that PHIL will always have a local menstrual pad in those girls’ bathrooms on the schools’ campuses among others.
Also speaking was the Assistant Pastor of Bo-Water-Side Baptist Fellowship Patrick Jumusa Jr. expressed gratitude to both organizations for the eye-opening program.
He said they as church leaders are now providing the rightful information concerning menstruation to their congregation.
Pastor Jumusa said before most females in the church never use to partake in events when they were menstruating due to the lack of information emphasizing that the situation has changed through the training that was provided by the two organizations.
“I take to my church women leaders, that those who are receiving can take care of themselves and take part in the service,” he said.
He narrated that it was challenging for the women and that the congregation accepted such a change because of the beliefs concerning menstruation.
Pastor Jumusa disclosed that the first time he preached about menstrual hygiene did not go down well with them due to the belief that such cannot be disclosed in the public.
According to him menstruation awareness longer a tabu in his church concerning menstruation.
For his part, Sweni Jaliba Wellor Town Chief, said they are informing their citizens conceding the issue of menstrual hygiene.
According to him, it will be a good thing for the Organizations to provide support to the community champions who are providing volunteer services to the community relating to menstrual hygiene.
Also speaking Gordyanie Town Chief, Sajima Kamara disclosed that his leadership has worked with the origination to train men of his town on how to take care of their wives when they are menstruating.
He said both men and women including young people are fully knowledgeable on how to address the issue of menstrual hygrine.
“Before nobody uses to talk about menstruation in the open but now because of the training we talk and teach our children about it,” Chief Kamara said.
For His Part, Anthony Kamara a Community Champion called on the partners to extend the training to other towns as a means of providing them the opportunity to acquire such knowledge that will help their wives and female children.