Simple Skills can be a key to Solve Big Problems

Simple Skills can be a key to Solve Big Problems

 ( By Ashagrie Mezigebu )

Asking money for menstruation sanitary pad from parents may be as simple as asking money for Taxi or Bajaj to any urban young female students. However, this is something unusual to several rural young female students like Ayehu, who is a grade 12 student at Kemier Dengay Secondry School in Kimer Dengay Kebele.  Let alone, requesting money for menstruation sanitary pad, talking about it with parents is considered as embarrassing. As a result Ayehu and her friends mostly miss school days whenever, they are on menstruation period. Headache or abdominal pains are the frequent reasons they provide to teachers and parents.

Like Ayehu, at young age, Atekelit spend her high school years in kemir Dengay Secondary School. Now working as a teacher and Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) counselor in this school, Atekelit sadly remembers the stressful feelings she experienced as a young student due to menstruation. She thought that “It is something that you can’t discuss with anyone, even with a close friend. So, you are left alone to take care of every odd feeling you may experience. This easily distracts your focus in classroom teaching-learning process. Luck of skill on how to manage it was also another problem. Such kind of things will force you to miss school days during menstruation ’’. Hence, she believes that matters related to menstruation had negatively affected her overall high school achievement.     

Atekilt –a teacher and counselor in the school

Now with the support of Amhara Development Association’s ( ADA) Consolidation and Scaling up project, Atekilt believes that Ayehu and other female students in the school are not experiencing what she had experienced due to menstruation. She pointed out that the opening of SRH counseling units in the school; the availability of menstruation sanitary pad changing room; the training given to students on how to prepare menstruation sanitary pad at home etc. . . .  have improved the life of female students in this school.

Particularly the two hour training, which enabled female students to prepare menstruation sanitary pad at home, is found by Atikilt very vital. She stated that” it provided a skill that solved long existed problem among rural female students in the school ’’.

 For anyone who spends some time in the school with Ayehu and her friends may assert that Atikilt’s thought is true. They stated that before the training they don’t have any idea how to manage their menstruation except using piece of cloth. Even this one has its own problem. Sometimes fluids escaped from the piece of cloth flow over their dress which is visible from outside. This creates an intense feeling of embarrassment and depression. This usually makes them the last persons to leave their classroom.

Now Ayehu and her friends believe that things are much better than before. They got a two hour skill training which enabled them prepare pants and menstruation sanitary pad at home. Moreover the counseling and awareness training they obtained from Atkekilt and her colleagues enabled them to recognize menstruation as a part of their beautiful nature. All these helped them to manage their menstruation suitably, and relieved from the stressful feeling.  In case of emergency, there is also menstruation sanitary pad changing room in their school. Thus Ayehu and her friends think that menstruation is not major trouble in their learning. 

From left to right-Mulken,tecaher Atikilt,Bizuayehu, Ayehu,teacherTsegie and  Embet  

After observing these and other contributions of ADA’s project, Atekilt concluded that the school has become more comfortable to female students than before. It seems true that Atekelt has satisfied with the recent improvements. Perhaps this helped her to forget her unfortunate past, and share the smile of her young visionary students.                      

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