Rozaria Memorial Trust (RMT), a local initiative that advocates for the rights and opportunities for children and women, recently donated 150 pieces of menstrual health kits to 50 girls from five secondary schools in Murewa district.
By Abigail Matsikidze
The secondary schools are Magaya, Hurungwe, Chipinda, Chepango and Kambarani.
RMT CEO Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda said she mobilised the resources to donate after learning that most girls were finding it difficult to deal with menstruation. She said she will keep assisting, promising to bring another batch of menstrual health kits next month.
“The girls shared information on what they use when they have their special days. Cotton wool, cloth, newspapers and someone mentioned leaves and the whole group was shocked,” she said.
Gumbonzvanda said apart from donating the menstrual health kits, the beneficiaries were taken through sexual reproduction education.
“I started the session by showing a video about ovulation and what happens to our bodies during that time, and why the bleeding takes place. The older ones said they had learnt some of the things in school, but when someone describes with a chart, it’s different from having a video documentary,” she said.
A trained human rights lawyer, Gumbonzvanda said she used her influence as an international human rights activist to mobilise resources. She is also an African Union goodwill ambassador on ending child marriage in Africa.
RMT was established in 2007 and operates in Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central provinces. It was established in remembrance of the late Mbuya Rozaria Dizha, a community woman whose life personified the ideologies of caring, sharing and innovation.
RMT’s main focus is on adolescent girls but also funds initiatives that stimulate education, health and entrepreneurship for women and young people in resource underprivileged societies.
They work closely with Roots Africa in Shamva and the ministries of Primary and Secondary Education as well as Health and Child Care in Murewa.
Gumbonzvanda said this year RMT would try to reach out and support up to 500 girls, who are mostly orphans and vulnerable. Through mutual support, she said they aim to provide each girl with a quarterly supply of four sanitary packs of 10 pads each.
“We will also strengthen information sharing on menstrual health with girls, parents, school authorities and policy makers. Menstrual health is a public health issue,” she said.
“Your continued support is contributing immensely to the sexual and reproductive health of adolescent girls in Murewa, making sure that they enjoy their rights, build their self-esteem and improve school attendance during their menses. We are grateful for the partnership that is touching and changing lives.”