I remember at age 11 one of the girls in my class had her dress stained in class and our classmates made fun of her. I was so sad that when my dad picked us up i told him what happened.
The next day he called me to the sitting room and i thought i was in some kind of trouble. But he explained to me that i was about to start my menstral periods soon and that i shouldnt be scared. He told me that it was a phase that every girl has to go through but it was nothing to be ashamed of.
He told me when it happens i have to be very careful and very very clean and not hang around boys too much because if a boy touched me, i would get pregnant.
I waited anxiously for my periods that year but nothing happened. Even the next year nothing happened. I felt bad because all my friends had started their periods and they kept referring to me as a child, this made me more angry.
I remember when i was going to Senior one at age 13 i asked my mum to buy me pads just incase i started my periods. The whole term nothing happened and i was extremely sad. When i went back home for holidays my parents wanted to know if the periods had started and i told them they hadnt started.
The long awaited day finally came two weeks into my holiday. I woke up and my panty was stained. I remember i smiled endlessly and run to my mum with so much joy. I bles for two days and was anxiously waiting for the next month.
When i went back to school, the whole term nothing happened. When my mum picked me up from school she asked me and i told her that the periods never came back. Being a mixed school alot run through her mind.
On the way home we passed by a clinic and i was asked for a urine sample and i rememeber the doctor pressing my stomach. He then explained to my mum that all was well. I obviously didnt know what was happening.
When we got home i overheard her explaining to my dad what the doctor had said.
From that time i have never had regular periods. I keep telling my friends that my periods have a mind of its own.
My first period experience was a positive one but not all girls are as lucky as I was. Today many girls are not allowed to talk about their periods and as a result they are ashamed to be in school when they are menstruating. I have talked to quite a number of girls in rural schools where I work and I have learnt that many of them cannot afford a packet of pads and their parents are not bothered. Many of the girls use banana leaves or a piece of cloth when they are in their periods. Many of them get infections because they don’t know what to do when they are in their periods and because they are hiding from everyone including family members.
These stories touched my heart so I contacted a group of friends and we organized some pads and clothes for a primary school in Seeta Namanoga and we talked to the girls about periods, what they should expect when they are in their periods and hygiene. The girls in this school have both parents but the community is poverty stricken that the children are not sure if they will find a meal at home so asking for a pad is impossible because it is taken as a luxury. Many of their stories made my heart bleed because I had my father walk with me through my period journey and they don’t have anyone to explain to them what to expect. I always encourage men to have good relationships with their daughters so that they feel loved and protected and don’t fall prey to men who want to take advantage of them.
I am speaking out about periods and girls who feel lost and violated when they are in their periods. Stand with me to talk about menstruation. Stand with us to make sure that girls stay in school.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to My First Period
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Support us to ensure that girls stay in school. Promote the girl education by ensuring that the girl child has sanitary towels.