By Ovat Abeng
Wife of the Governor of Anambra State and founder of Healthy Living with Nonye Soludo Initiative Dr. Mrs. Nonye Soludo, has promised to provide sanitary pads to over four hundred secondary schools across the state.
The Anambra first lady made the promised at the governor’s lodge Amawbia, on Wednesday, to mark this year’s 2023 International Day of the Girl Child in the state.
She noted that the distributions will be done at the beginning of each academic term, with enough supplies to last throughout a particular academic calendar.
According to Mrs. Soludo, this year’s Day of the girl child recognizes the need to celebrate all achievements, the womenfolk have made under the umbrella of the United Nations since the Beijing Declaration and Action Plan, and the Convention on Rights of the Child in 1990.
In her words, “We are celebrating this year’s International Day of the Girl Child with a clear understanding of the challenges before our girls in their pursuits of safe and great future.
“We are also looking at the possibilities out there for the girls and how they can take hold of them. But the truth is that these opportunities are limited, and distorted largely because of so many household obstacles.
“Every girl has the fundamental right to live and succeed. Once we deny them these rights, we have taken a backward step that will ultimately have damaging effects on our society.
“One of the significant goals of our Crusade in Healthy Living with Nonye Soludo is to explore smart avenues and rekindle the consciousness of self-belief and knowledge of individual potentials of our girls.
“We are also teaching them the rules of hygiene, nutrition and self development. Nutrition and personal hygiene are, of course, two of the five pillars of our Crusade.
“We see them as an important process for child development. In the area of hygiene, we are also looking at menstrual hygiene and the overall health education of women and girls, especially those in the low income class.
“Recognizing these fundamental facts, I’m glad to announce today that Healthy Living with Nonye Soludo has taken a step further to promote menstrual hygiene in secondary schools where Healthy Living Clubs are domiciled.
“We have concluded arrangements to provide Sanitary Pad Banks (Pad Banks) in over four hundred secondary schools across Anambra State where our clubs are currently operating.
“Accessibility to primary hygiene needs like sanitary pads remains a major concern in rural homes. It gets even worse when menstrual emergencies break out in schools. Therefore, we want to intervene where it matters the most.
“Today, we will be distributing over one thousand sanitary pads to our schools to kick off the campaign.
“By opening the shelves and lockers where these sanitary pads would be kept, we wish to restore girl child confidence and beat down stigmas arising from menstrual emergencies.
“We also want to create a perfect environment for every girl child to grow happily in without having to be scared of what will happen next.
“Our Pad Banks will give equal opportunities to girls from every social class, and build a hygiene bond that will last beyond the school walls. It is, however, worthy to note that every girl child – in her menstrual age – attending a school where these Pad Banks are accessible, can equally access them. Our commitment is universal, and we want to keep it so.
“The statistics of girls and women in their reproductive age brackets with access to basic menstrual requirements are begging for better attention. This is our own way of paying attention.
“We want to ensure that every school girl can reach her dreams without being afraid of her environment and the people who make it unhealthy to grow in.
“Healthy Living with Nonye Soludo is committed to promoting and protecting the fundamental objectives of right health. I prefer to say that “Health is the Greatest Wealth” to give a clearer illustration of what a system that lacks good health looks like.
“About our goals, results and compassion. At the end of the day, we want to achieve a society that opens up a platform of equal aspirations for every gender,” she noted.
Mrs Soludo commended the conscious programmes of the Anambra State Government aimed at protecting the girl child.
She also restated the commitment of her NGO, Healthy Living with Nonye Soludo Initiative in collaboration with the State Ministry of Health to help spread the word, be an ambassador of a healthy lifestyle in your community.
She used the celebration to called on parents and Ndi Anambra to give priority attention to education of the girl-child in order to inspire her to break boundaries and take charge of her future.
The Paradise News gathered that the theme for this year’s celebration, is “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being,”