• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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WACT empowers 150 students to produce reusable sanitary towels

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The West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) partnered with Dufy Global to train 150 students from the Government Secondary School, Onne in Rivers State, to produce reusable sanitary towels in recognition of World Menstrual Hygiene Day.

WACT’s Menstrual Justice Programme was aimed at keeping girls in school and preventing female students from missing classes and examinations due to menstruation. It also contributes to environmental protection by promoting the use of eco-friendly pads.

Speaking at the event, Justin Okwuofu, WACT Community Relations Manager, said the programme addresses three thematics of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) interventions including Health, Education, Training & Development.

He said it would break the taboo of public discussion on menstruation.

“When we started the programme in late 2023, the aim was to train students on how to produce reusable eco-friendly pads. Apart from the stigma, shame, exclusion, and taboos associated with menstruation, the conventional disposable pads cost between $1.3 and $ 1.9 per pack and the average girl cannot afford this,” he said.

Okwuofu said the students were provided extra materials, including a pack of reusable eco-friendly sanitary pads each and four new sewing machines to produce more pads.

“We inaugurated 42 Menstrual Justice Advocates among the students (boys and girls) to promote menstrual health and correct people’s negative perception about menstruation,” he said.

Also speaking, Chinelo Obienyem, WACT Senior People Business Partner, said the training gave WACT a platform to enhance the host community’s understanding of menstrual hygiene.

“By teaching the girls how to make eco-friendly sanitary pads and providing materials, we are helping them manage their periods with dignity and empowering them with valuable skills and knowledge,” Obienyem said.

Victor Akubor, CEO and principal partner of Dufy Global, said the training on eco-friendly pad production was a result of the poor menstrual health exacerbating social and economic inequalities among some girls and women which also negatively impacts their education, health, safety, and human development.

Clara Wali, principal of Government Secondary School, Onne, who described the activities carried out by WACT as ‘humanitarian’, said the training would reduce the number of students who come to her to plead for sanitary pads.

Jima Osaronu, member of the Onne Council of Chiefs, said the programme would improve the economic well-being of the Onne people and that the training would cause a shift from the traditional way of doing things to the modern way.