By Christine Chiromo
Women in Communities of Zimbabwe (WICO) in partnership with FORHER girls movement organized a Christmas party for the underprivileged students at St Severino primary school in Ward 1 Gweru on Saturday.
The two organisations donated sanitary wear to grade seven students, and engaged them in a sexual relations and reproductive health (SRHR) talk in an effort to empower the underprivileged young women who struggle to access pads due to the prevailing economic challenges.
Executive Director for Women in Communities (WICO), Rebecca Tendai Chirenga said the activity was funded by friends and well-wishers of FORHER movement, the youth wing of WICO as these girls mostly came from very poor families around Gweru.
“The majority of the parents survive on piece jobs and vending and come from an informal settlement comprising of former workers of a brick molding company. So, after talking to the girls, the Director of FORHER, learnt of the challenges the girls faced in accessing sanitary wear, to the extent of missing school during their period.
She added that it is really crucial that these young girls receive teaching on SRHR especially at this young age as this will definitely shape their future since most of them become pregnant and drop out of school prematurely.
“Financial resources are the inhibiting factor when trying to reach more schools. In addition to the SRHR talks, one would want to give them assistance of material things like books, pads and even detergents to ease their daily struggles however, resources are hard to acquire.”
St Severino senior teacher and health coordinator, Judith Sibanda expressed her gratitude towards the organizers of the event as she highlighted that students have challenges such as not having sanitary pads due to poverty. She also added that empowering the community, finding more donors and also having projects for them to be involved would go a long way in addressing these issues students face.
“Most of these families are child headed and they lack the knowledge of sanitary wear. Thirty-eight female students currently benefit from the donations.
“As the coordinator l always supply a pack of 100 pads per term but they are not enough for the school.” She said
WICO and FORHER movement wish to continue championing the causes of these young girls through skills training, awareness, and capacity building to give this generation a better future.
To reach as many young girls as possible. This will reduce teen pregnancies, early marriages, spread of HIV among other ills that they are subjected to.
“We wish for an elite, empowered and skilled young woman who will be part of vision 2030 and achieve the SDGs.” Chirenga said.