Growing up in an urban area blinded me from the level of privilege I had experienced during menarche in comparison to my peers who grew up in the rural areas. Fate had it all figured out; I came across the Young Jewels Foundation. I had an epiphany and in an instant, everything became very clear.
Joining the amazing team of volunteers back in 2015 was such a great decision. I did not need to think twice. My first trip to the schools was heartwarming. Seeing the student’s zeal to learn and the immediate outcome the program recorded was just amazing; offering solutions to the challenges the students were experiencing or about to experience. It was not just about the girls; Young Jewels is keen on empowering the boy child through the ManDate boys program. We appreciate the importance of male involvement when it comes to menstrual matters. The program equips boys with the right information about puberty for both boys and girls. Some boys have narrated on incidences when they had supported their younger sisters on menstrual matters as a result of the program.
Still, the statistics on girl’s absenteeism in school’s due to lack of menstrual products is astonishing. Young Jewels has adopted 11 schools in which we provide mentorship as well as provision of menstrual products lasting the students a school term. The program strives to conduct onsite visits every school term. The boys have also progressed from ridiculing the girls during their menses to becoming a great support system for their classmates, often helping us unloading boxes of sanitary towels when we visit them. It’s been such a fulfilling journey indeed and as the saying goes, “no one is too poor to give.” Join the Young Jewels community and contribute towards sparking of dreams and unlocking potential among thousands of students.
Author: Isabella Ojodo