Nurses for Africa partnered with Days for Girls this year. Days for Girls provides reusable menstrual kits. Each kit contains several washable panti-liners, a pair of underpants, a liner to hold the pads, a bar of soap, a washcloth and several zip-loc bags. These items are places in colorful drawstring bags. The teams had also collected baby items – including cloth diapers, plastic pants, diaper pins, baby wash and lotion, baby ointment and clothing. We made up bags of “new baby” items.
Distrubuting these items gave us the perfect opportunity to include some education when had clinic in Malenga. My team had a Labor and Delivery Nurse and a Certified Nurse’s Aide instrutor. They were the perfect teachers for our Feminine Hygeine Class and the Pre-Natal class. The first class was held the morning of our first clinic. The class consisited of young girls and women over the age of 10. In the afternoon, the Prenatal classes were held for pregnant and new moms. The first day we held 2 classes. By the third day of classes-there were 6 classes being held because of the demand. We ran out of “new baby bags”, but the pregnant moms came anyway.
The girls and women were so thankful for the education about their own bodies. Even ladies that had had children were thilled to learn! There were giggles and laughs about the mensrtrual kits, but the ladies were so interested in learning.
On the last day of clinic, at our meeting before clinic, three of the femaile care workers asked to speak. There were wo older ladies and one young teacher that spoke. Dorothy spoke first, thanking us for teaching her daughter’s about their bodies and providing theem with the kits. Beatrice thankd us as well – saying that she was so grateful for teaching her daughters something that she could not teach them. She said that her girls spread out the contents of their kits and explained every item to her. They also told her about what happned to them when they had their periods. Orlanta thanked us too, for helpinig her educate the girls/women of Malenga on such important subjects. All three of the ladies cried as they thanked us.
In the four years that I have been workin with Nurses for Africa, I have never seen one of the care workers cry – even when a beloved villager died. They are very stoic. It was extremely moving to see how the education of the girls affected the care workers.