Knowledge is key with menstruation

2018-03-22 06:00
Sonia Buqwana, an Always ambassador hands over sanitary towels to ACJ Phakade Primary School learners. PHOTOS: MZWANELE MKALIPI

Sonia Buqwana, an Always ambassador hands over sanitary towels to ACJ Phakade Primary School learners. PHOTOS: MZWANELE MKALIPI

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“Menstruation is normal.”

This is the straightforward message from Sonia Buqwana, ambassador for sanitary towel brand Always. She addressed Grade 6 learners of ACJ Phakade Primary School in Nomzamo on Friday 16 March.

Speaking to City Vision, Buqwana said parents needed to open up to their children, so it can be easy for the young ones to be open to them.

“This is the programme we have been running for 19 years across all provinces in the country,” she said after handing over sanitary towels to the learners.

“We talk to Grade 6 girls about puberty, periods and the changes that occur in their bodies during this stage of their lives. We emphasise to them the importance of hygiene during this time and what they can expect.

“What we preach more to them is to stay confident and believe in themselves. When they start getting their periods they should know this is normal. This is a very important education to these learners as they hardly talk about such topics at home.

“These learners need to know that when their periods begin it means they are now entering the stage of being young women. So from this period, if they sleep with boyfriends they can become pregnant and need to know that.”

Buqwana said she is always amazed at the questions learners ask when she visits schools to deal with these issues.

“This goes to show that some parents are old fashioned,” she said. “Parents need to start opening up to their children and speak about these things. There’s nothing wrong when one has a period, and they need to hear that from home as well. ”

Buqwana added she has been coming to this area and visiting schools for some years.

Grade 6 teacher Lucy Mashicolo told City Vision this was a great initiative for their learners, as it also empowered them.

“Sometimes you find a learner in class has already menstruated, and she is confused and does not know what to do,” she said. “It is then our duty as teachers to take care of them and make sure they are clean.

“These learners need to know there’s nothing disgraceful when they start menstruating, as this is what happens to women. Other children are very scared to speak to their parents about this, but are comfortable about speaking to us. This initiative will go a long way, and we thank Always for the work they do.”


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