By Patricia Mashiri
Katswe Sisterhood has launched a sanitary bank in which they will be collecting sanitary wear for the young girls and women in schools. This follows the demonstration done on 16 February that was called the #HappyFlow campaign/petition which they hope to submit to the government with the support of the Honourable Member of Parliament Priscilla Misiharambwi-Mushonga.
The petition is for seeking free sanitary wear for girls in school from the government and appeals for a cut or reduction in the importation duties on the products.
The first donations at the launch of sanitary bank were made by Richard Kanyangu, the President of the Zimbabwe Unity Party and Kuzivakwashe Mujakachi who is based in Canada.
They donated 100 reusable packs and one hundred disposable sanitary pads. The reusable packs come with a special packaging which includes 3 reusable pads, pad holder, 2 pants, sanitary soap, face towel and a ziplock bag which enables the pad to clean itself. The disposable sanitary wear lasts up to five years.
Richard Kanyangu,the President of Zimbabwe Unity Party said he wasn’t aware of the terrible situation faced by girls and women when they are experiencing their menstrual circle.
“When Kuziva approached me I wasn’t aware of the terrible situation and how our young girls miss school during their menstrual circle, how they use cowdung, maize and sometimes leaves during their cycles.
“We connected with some organisations and the response was amazing. It’s unbelievable how women outside (in Canada) feel the plight of the girl child in Zimbabwe. Our hopes are that we will change someone’s life with this sanitary wear,” Kanyangu said.
Kuzivakwashe Mujakachi, a young lady based in Canada said she knows what young girls face out there during their menstrual cycle and wanted to help.
“Young girls face challenges when they are on their periods. I’m starting by donating to Kawondera Secondary School in Murombedzi, Zvimba. My family and I did our secondary education at that school but I will make sure it will be a whole country programme,” Mujakachi said.
Talent Jumo, the Director of Katswe Sisterhood expressed her gratitude for the duo’s first big donation to the initiative.
“We want to eliminate and demystify stereotypes surrounding mensuration and make people aware that sanitary wear is not a luxury but a great need. Our young girls use tissues, rugs and cowdung because they don’t have money to buy decent sanitary products because their parents are struggling to have food on the table. The government should see what it can do especially in our schools,”Jumo said.
Sad stories are heard out there when a girl children get genital infections because of dirty items they use during their menstrual cycles. In some instances, the use of such material leads to cervical cancer.