By Leilani Konjib
On Thursday the 24th of June, my grandmother who is one of the elders and spokesperson in the Lutheran Parish accompanied me to a school in my village called "Bundun Community School" which is just a 5 minute walk from my home and about 93.5km from Lae town.
To my surprise, not only did I have the privilege of speaking to grade 8 female students, but grades 7, 6 and grade 5 who were very enthusiastic to attended the talk session on the importance of managing menstural hygiene, how to use the reusable pads, why attendance is important in school and how competency of literacy & numeracy is a vital skill inorder to furthering their knowledge and education.
The event itself was timely because earlier that week on Monday the 21st of June there had been a parent-teacher meeting that specifically raised issue on Menstural Hygiene and much of the concern was on safe guarding and protecting the dignity of our young women as the commencement of exams were approaching in the following months ahead.
The teachers had expressed that the community is mostly composed of subsistence farmers, who only sell their surplus crops although they don't make as much as K10 to K20 in a day. Thus purchasing menstural hygiene products on a monthly basis can be expensive and so many girls either use old rags as a substitute or choose to stay home for days rather than attend classes. This has ultimately affected their focus, self esteem and educational progress.
At the end of the day we had a pleasant reaction of laughter and giggles, we also successfully handed out approximately 48 reusable menstural hygiene kits to grade 5, 6, 7 and 8. We hope to continue phase two of our project which is to deliver 2000 books while we progressively look forward to building a library for our community school in Bundun Primary, Gurakor Village of Mumeng LLG, Wau Bulolo District of Morobe Province.
Special mention: These menstural hygiene kits were donated to us by Kokoda Angels Inc through Helen Tau in 2019. Friends from UPNG & UNITECH have had help through logistics to transport these kits from Pom to Lae. We are forever greatful for the gesture and community support, as always it's about "People helping People" and I'm humbled to be a bridge between my community who needs help and your continuous support.
If you're interested to donate and help towards this worthy cause, please do email me firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a direct message.
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