WaterAid Liberia and Public Health Initiative Liberia (PHIL) have intensified Menstrual Hygiene Management awareness in Tewor District, Grand Cape Mount County.
The awareness focused on community residents, religious leaders, local leaders, students and women groupings, among others.
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 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 into such meeting to clearly inform them about breaking the silence of menstruation which is a natural thing put in woman 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 emphasis was for the community leaders and local government authorities to plan together strong sustainability plan and join 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 amount of money into and the only way we can overcome this, is by working with stakeholders in the communities and local government structures to plan along with the community to be able to sustain these activities or programs”, Madam Gibson noted.
She 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 religious and traditional leaders can take ownership of the program on menstrual hygiene management awareness.
She also expressed hope that community residents will ensure those safe space facilities provided by WaterAid and PHIL will always have local menstrual pad in those girls’ bathrooms at schools, among others.
Also speaking was the Assistant Pastor of Bo-Water-Side Baptist Fellowship, Patrick Jumusa Jr. who expressed gratitude to WaterAid and PHIL 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 used 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 tell 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 at first it was challenging for the women and that of the congregation to accept such a change because of their perception concerning menstruation.
Pastor Jumusa disclosed that the first time he preached about menstrual hygiene, it did not go down well with them due to old believe that such cannot be disclosed in the public.
According to him, menstruation awareness is no longer a taboo with the Church and congregation.
For his part, Sweni Jaliba Wellor Town Chief said they are informing their citizens concerning the issue of menstrual hygiene.
According to him, it will be a good thing for WaterAid Liberia and PHIL to provide support to the community champions who are providing volunteer services.
Also speaking, Gordyanie Town Chief, Sajima Kamara disclosed that his leadership has worked with the organization 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 the young people are fully knowledgeable on how to address the issue of menstrual hygiene.
“Before, no body used to talk about menstruation in the open, but now because of the training, we can now 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 and villages as a means of providing them the opportunity to acquire such knowledge that will help their wives and female children.
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