Yinson launches girls’ education programme

Yinson Girls Education Programme

Yinson Ghana, in partnership with the Ahanta West Education Directorate, has launched the Yinson Girls Education Programme.

The programme is expected to positively impact approximately 750 female students from the upper primary to junior high levels in the Ahanta West municipality, by reducing poor academic performance due to period poverty.

Also, the programme aims at improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies among female students in the municipality’s five circuits.

Edward Mensah, Yinson Ghana Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator, speaking during the programme’s launch at Apowa in the Ahanta West municipality of the Western Region, announced that his outfit will organise a programme to promote STEM studies for female students later in the year.

He encouraged female students to take advantage of the programme and excel in their studies when it is implemented.

“Yinson is committed to improving the lives of people in its host communities, and this programme is in line with Yinson’s mission of promoting quality education and effective learning in the communities where it operates,” he added.

Menstrual hygiene

Mr. Mensah said good health, well-being and gender equality are some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that the company aligns with, and that they are the main drivers for Yinson’s menstrual hygiene programmes.

Acording to Ernestina Kangah, Girls Education Coordinator at the Ghana Education Service in the Ahanta West municipality, studies have shown that one in 10 girls in Africa miss school because they do not have access to safe, hygienic menstrual products, or because there are no safe, private toilets to use at school.

She noted that some female students are unable to manage their menstruation with dignity, sometimes due to community stigma and sanctions.

“Some girls miss as much as 20 percent of their school year, and some drop out of school altogether. There are also serious health risks if menstruation is not hygienically managed,” she said.

She pointed out that in the education sector today, all hands are on deck to eliminate the hurdles which impede girls’ education.

“As part of measures to promote access to girls’ education, special days have been earmarked to bring specific issues confronting their education to the fore. These include STEM clinics; International Day for Girls and Women in Science; International Day for Girls in ICT; Global Menstrual Hygiene Day; and International Day for the Girl Child,” she said.

She also said good menstrual health and hygiene practices can prevent infections, reduce odours, and help the individual stay comfortable during menstruation. “Poor menstrual hygiene can lead to urinary or reproductive tract infections, and affect the well-being of students. Girls may avoid attending school during their period due to fear of bullying and inadequate toilet facilities,” he added.

She commended Yinson for the investment and resources it continues to invest in the municipality to ensure that students, especially girls, are not denied education

Madam Sekyiwa Darko, Head,-Community Relations of the Petroleum Commission (PC), sharing her personal experience said: “Menstruation is not a disease, but some are unable to go to school because of their menstrual cycle. And there are misconceptions created in certain circles that if a girl is menstruating she is not clean, and must not be allowed to cook among others”.

She encouraged the girls to talk to their mothers and female teachers whenever they have a challenge during their menstruation. “Pay attention to menstrual hygiene whenever you are within this period, and then wrap your sanitary pad in a piece of paper or tissue and dispose it in a trash-can. Try as much as possible to keep yourself clean and change your sanitary pad as soon as it becomes heavy.

“Some menstruations are so painful – to the extent that the individual cannot go to school, and family members also do not encourage them to go. Some also advise that the only way painful menstruation can be stopped is by getting pregnant, which we all know is not the truth,” said Amen Morrison, Public Health Nurse and Adolescent Mentor in the Ahanta West municipality.

Packs of sanitary pads were distributed to over 750 female students within the municipality’s five circuits.

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