By Grace Orok
Second Chance Initiative, a non-governmental organization (NGO) has sensitized physically challenged people in Calabar, the Cross River State capital on the need to maintain menstrual hygiene while stepping out of the shyness associated with menstruation.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NGO, Mrs. Lilian Oyama said all girls and women have the right to manage their menstruation safely and with dignity without limits.
She told the deaf and dumb students at the Special Education Center that:“You have a right to life. All girls and women can manage their menstruation hygienically, safely and with dignity. Menstruation is not a curse from God.”
She debunked myths and taboos surrounding menstruation and said no menstruating woman should be stigmatized because it is a natural phenomenon.
“World Menstrual Hygiene day reminds us to dream big. The fact that you are physically challenged should not limit you. You can with respect to our theme, rise and be what you want to be. Nobody can stop you except you,”she said.
On sexuality, she preached abstinence from pre-marital sex in order to avoid unplanned pregnancy which on its own has a myriad of consequences.
The event was planned as part of activities marking the 2018 edition of World Menstrual hygiene Day celebrated annually on May 28 and was organised in collaboration with Rotary International and Enabled to enable.
The theme for this year’s edition is ‘No More Limits.’
And, the CEO of Enabled to Enable, Eno Okpo who led a session on life building skills, made it known to the students that disability is diversity in humanity.
She averred that: “Having (a) disability doesn’t make you inferior. You are not disabled, if you are, you lack the ability of doing something. Life is not about what you don’t have but what you already have. There is no disability that can limit you.”
Also, she added that: “You have a bank account called time. You can use it to do anything. You are not disadvantaged in any way. The way you present yourself is the way people take you.”
The principal of the center, Mrs. Arit Onaga in her remarks commended the organisers and charged them to continue in their strides to further the course of mankind.
“Nobody has talked about this before. It gives us joy that somebody can come to do this. I will like the NGO’s to continue with this and also do a reappraisal to know if it has gone down well because it gives the children confidence,” Onaga said.
Sanitary pads were distributed while there were also tutorials on hand washing to promote the culture of proper hygiene management in menstruating girls and women.
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