We just started the 3rd quarter of the US Embassy grant for our Uman Talk program, and the response from girls who have participated in this program has been incredible!
From January through March, our team has given reproductive health education to 433 girls across Sierra Leone, and distributed 133 Days for Girls kits to girls who had started their periods since our last visit. While our team was educating girls on menstrual hygiene and reproductive health, some of the girls shared their stories.
One girl from Maforeka shared that before Uman Talk, she used a single panty when she was on her period. The day she started her period for the first time she didn’t know what was happening, so she pretended to be sick and cried secretly for three days and stayed home from school. She never told anyone what she was experiencing. The second time her period came, she was forced to go to school. She stayed in the back of the classroom, lifting her uniform to sit. At the end of the day, she made sure to be the last to leave, wiped her seat with paper from her notebook, and went home. She had been going through this every month for over a year, and her performance in class was poor. She told us that the day she got the menstruation education and menstrual hygiene kit was the happiest day in her life! She said she was now excited to see her period and felt very comfortable using her kit.
The support for this program has been so inspiring, and girls’ lives are being changed every day because of it!