The Rotary Club of Accra SpeakMasters, in collaboration with the Rotaract Club of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) and Dignity Plus Foundation have donated a consignment of menstrual cups to female students of the St Peter’s Catholic School at Ngleshie-Amanfrom in the Ga South Municipality of the Greater Accra Region.
The presentation of some 130 menstrual cups to female students between the ages of 12 and 16 was the highpoint of the Rotary Club’s visit to the school, which also featured some education and interactive sessions with students on the importance of safe menstrual health and hygiene. There were demonstrations, as well as career counseling and mentorship, designed to guide the young women to adopt safe menstrual health practices and hygiene in their daily lifestyles.
Before making the donation, Rotarian Betty Blankson, the Club President, explained that Rotary International focuses on seven primary areas of life enhancement, including basic education and literacy; community economic development; maternal and child health; disease prevention and treatment, environmental protection; water, sanitation and hygiene; and peace-building and conflict prevention.
“This project, culminating in our visit to your school today, was planned to fit into our agenda for basic education and literacy as well as for environmental protection. We are aware that most girls in this community have admitted to having to stay away from school just for lack of the proper sanitary materials during their period because of the high cost of sanitary pads,” Club President Betty Blankson lamented.
“Sadly, this means that most girls in this community are likely to miss school for 5 out of the 20 days or so that they may be in their period…. It is for this reason that Rotary Club of Accra-SpeakMasters decided to introduce the menstrual cups to these young ladies, to help and support them to stay in school for their basic education,” Rotarian President Betty said.
She said, safeguarding the environment is a relevant touchpoint because the effects of improper disposal of used sanitary pads, which ultimately end up in our gutters, water bodies and or the sea contribute to the unending cycle of pollution.
“This project therefore ultimately helps us to protect and secure our environment from the impact of improper and unhygienic disposal of traditional sanitary pads,” said the President.
Rotarian Dzifa, the Service Project Director and Rotarian Debbie, the President-elect, took turns to educate the female staff as well as students about the menstrual cup, its uses, and benefits – one of which includes its reusable function for at least up to 10years.
Volunteers from the pupils took turns in demonstrating the use of the cup after which distribution was made to 130 girls in JSH 1, 2 and some female teachers.
Speaking to the press after the presentation, Rotarian Dzifa (Service Projects Director), emphasized the need to close the menstrual poverty gap and the need to educate all females about it and urged all Ghanaians to strive to make a difference ‘from wherever they find themselves’.
Rotary is a global network of 1.4 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who unite and take action to create lasting change in communities around the globe.
The Rotary Club of Accra SpeakMasters came about through the global collaboration by both Rotary International and Toastmaster International about three years ago. There were two clubs that were birthed out of this collaboration, the very firsts in the world, in 2021: A Rotary Club that is made up of Toastmasters in good standing and a Toastmasters Club that is made up of Rotarians in good standing.
Membership in Rotary is open to anyone willing to serve their community with their resources, i.e.: skills/vocation, money, and time to create lasting and positive impact in our communities – outward looking/community development. Membership in Toastmasters is open to anyone eager to improve their communication and leadership skills–inward looking/self-development.