About 5,000 school girls in Anambra State recently received sanitary pads under an initiative sponsored by Zaram life Foundation in collaboration with the Wife of the Governor of Anambra State, Mrs Nonye Soludo.
The initiative tagged ‘Project Pad a Girl child’ saw the distribution of sanitary pads to the school girls, over a period of three days.
The beneficiaries were drawn from 6 schools across the three senatorial districts of the State.
The project is part of activities marking the 2022 International Day of the Girl child and also witnessed sensitization sessions on the dangers of human trafficking, child abuse, sexual exploitation of the girl child and the negative culture of silence in the face of ill-treatment against the girl child.
Among the schools were Community Secondary School, Isuofia, St Anthony Secondary School, Ikenga, Urban Girls Secondary School, Ekwulobia, Federal Government Girls College, FGGC Nkwelle-Ezunaka, Anglican Girls Grammar School, Alor and James Okigbo Memorial Secondary School, Ojoto-Uno.
Speaking after the programme, the convener of Zaram Life Foundation, Ms Eucheria Onyemobi explained that the initiative was borne out of the desire to support the promotion of safe hygiene for young girls, as a way of equipping them for a better life.
According to her, the inability of some parents or guardians to afford the sanitary pads is a major reason for poor hygiene among the girls, hence the need to support them get sanitary pads.
“I have received countless calls from young girls that they are finding it very difficult to afford these sanitary pads.
“Some of them even go to the length of using rags in the place of sanitary pads and this is very bad.
“So, we felt it will be a great opportunity to reach out to our girls especially at the hinterlands where life has been very difficult and the reception was so massive,” she said.
Onyemaobi said the wife of the state governor, Mrs Soludo, having championed the cause for a better life for the girl child in the state, it became imperative for her foundation to extend the hand of partnership to her to expand the scope of the initiative.
She noted that the Chukwuma Soludo administration has also shown genuine commitment towards ending issues of violence and exploitation against the girl child, commending his latest approval of the Action plan for the State Taskforce on Human Trafficking.
In her words; “With what Anambra State under the Soludo administration is doing to end issues of human trafficking, we will see an Anambra in the nearest future that is devoid of all these problems that inhibit the development of the girl child.
“The governor has consistently said that he is committed to making the state a liveable and prosperous homeland and if that pans out, it will be a win-win for the girl child because we have seen his agenda for them and they are quite commendable.”
The Zaram Life Foundation boss urged the young girls to endeavor to utilize opportunities presented by the long vacations they get, to learn a skill.
According to her, it is important considering the hardship in the society and the need for young girls to de-emphasize the present trend of running after men because they are wealthy.
Onyemaobi said her foundation is committed to raising a generation of young independent girls who will not be liability to their partners, but be able to contribute significantly towards the wellbeing of their various families.
“In the course of our intervention activities, we have observed a very huge gap in terms of how knowledgeable our girls in the hinterlands are, concerning these issues.
“We therefore advocate intensified mentorship and sensitization programmes for our girls.
“Government and NGOs can take up this conversation.
All the heads of the schools visited in their separate remarks, applauded what the Foundation had done, noting that no support give for the development of the girl child is a waste.
According to them, the girl child represents the future.
They called for more of such intervention programmes, not only for the girls but also for the boys.
Some of the benefitting students, Ifegbunam Blessing, who is the Senior prefect of Urban Girls Secondary School, Ekwulobia and Ihedigbo Treasure of FGGC, Nkwelle-Ezunaka said the pads will be highly beneficial to them, especially in maintaining good hygiene.
They expressed appreciation to the wife of the governor, Mrs Soludo and the Convener, Zaram Life Foundation, Ms Onyemaobi for envisioning the initiative.
The girls expressed the hope that more well-meaning Anambra people will take a cue from the initiative and reach out to more young girls in the society.
Highpoints of the pad distribution initiative include interactive sessions where the school girls asked questions and received answers on some grey areas of womanhood as well as skill acquisition.