By Samuel Malasa Banda
All students are seated quietly in class when the teacher, as a way of winding up his lesson for the day asks a random question. As per practice, a student is supposed to raise their hand and when the teacher appoints them, one is supposed to rise up their hand and stand up to answer the question.
But strangely, one girl raises her hand and choose to answer the question while seated. This annoys the teacher who sends out the student because she is defiant.
Or maybe, think of this:
A girl is seated in class when unknowingly, her menstruation starts. That is in a class of both boys and girls. This is a class where boys, due to lack of knowledge and understanding, laugh at a girl.
This is a common phenomenon with girls in Malawian secondary schools, and Cornerstone Christian High school hasn’t been an exception.
As stated by one of the teachers at the school Glory Munthali, who also acts as the School matron, most girls, are shy during these times.
“Most girls have to endure the scorn from boys when it’s been known about their situation. This happens because most of them lack durable and comfortable pads that can last a long time” says Munthali.
But Munthali’s worries have been addressed, thanks to the generous gift from the Ladner Baptist Church team that visited Cornerstone.
As one way of encouraging girl’s health and education, the team donated over 200 reusable sanity pads sourced from Afripads, a local sanitary and health appliance company.
According to one of the Afripads officials who gave a talk to more than 150 girls who received the donation, the reusable pads can last up to six hours. Further, the pads can be used continuously for three months.
The girls were also taught how they can properly take care of themselves and the pads they received.
Aside from the pads, the girls were given sandals and other necessary toiletries.
Speaking on behalf of all the girls who received the assorted items, 15-year-old Padana Nkorongo, a Form 2 student at Cornerstone Christian High School said they are so grateful to God for the generosity of the Ladner team.
“The pads will enable us to attend classes comfortably without fear of being shamed. Some of us would be absent from school, but now with the reusable pads, we will be able to attend school regularly,” said Padana.
With the donation of the reusable pads, slip-on shoes, and various toiletries, our girls have been pushed a step further in their pursuit for a better life.