A RETURN YOUTH VOLUNTEER EMBARKS ON MENSTRUAL HYGIENE CAMPAIGN IN BAWKU WEST DISTRICT, GHANA
Abigail Apuryinga Awulatu is a graduate from the University of Development Studies (UDS) in the Northern region of Ghana and a return youth volunteer for the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) Ghana. In the best of adjectives, she describes herself as a calm, courteous, straightforward, foresighted and a very resourceful person.
As a social change agent in her local area, Abigail has strong passion in ensuring that the less privileged and vulnerable in the society especially girls are equipped with right knowledge and information that would empower them to rise above their challenges to become great pillars for development inspired her to embark on an awareness raising campaign to create awareness on the need to keep the average Ghanaian girl in the classroom by ensuring the provision of basic needs such as sanitary towels for their monthly menstrual cycle and also promote menstrual hygiene among young girls. Her project focuses on rural communities in the sub regions of Ghana as part of her Personal voluntary project also known as Action at Home.
She commenced her campaign in promoting menstrual hygiene among young girls in the Atakirom junior high school and All saint Anglican junior High at Bawku West District in the Upper East Region of Ghana, where she organnised menstural health sessions which saw the education of young girls on how to maintain good menstural hygiene during mensturation. To further boost the interest of parent in supporting young girls during their menstural period, she organized a sensitizaion durbar which is aimed at sensitizing parents who have their wards in the school on the need to provide basic needs such as sanitary pads for their young girls during mensturation. Abigail also donated sanitary pads to the two community schools.
She seeks to, with her project, educate parent on the need to supply their young girls with sanitary towels to fulfil their basic needs. She also seeks to conscientiously appeal to the young girls to be humble, supportive and dutiful towards their parent. She also wishes to encourage them to focus and be consistent with their academic performance.
In our interaction with Abigail, she tells us the reason that led to the selection of this project was to ensure that the young girl does not frequently absent herself from school, due to the inability of her parent to provide her sanitary towels during her periodic menstrual cycle.
She laments that even though the government and some stakeholders are making the effort to provide free sanitary towels to young girls in the rural communities, the effort seems not to be enough to tackle the issue of low school turn out of the young girls in rural areas. She also states that her biggest challenge was to gain people’s trust at the commencement of this project.
However, she states that a number of well wishers, after gaining their trusts have shown their supports by donating and pledging to provide free sanitary towels to support her project.
Abigail calls on donors to continue with the good work of donating sanitary pads to help curb the issue of low turnout of young girls in the rural schools. She believes that with gentle and cautious steps, gradually, one can achieve their set goals. She calls on other young volunteers to consult with the people to find ways to solve community problems.
This has been the story of Apuryinga Awulatu Abigail, a VSO/ICS volunteer from Ghana. You can also share with us your stories as a volunteer and the challenges you are being faced with. Share with the rest of the world the impact of your project and inspire other young people to immerse themselves in the spirit of volunteering.
Active Citizenship Diary: Telling the untold stories of Active Citizens
Story by: Ijora Abirat Zakariah ( Writer, Active Citizenship Diary)