Today I celebrate ME. I celebrate the the Girl child in Me. The Girl who had a pen but could not write, the girl who knew nothing before womanhood, the girl who lived in ignorance, and today the mother whose life is full of multiplicity.
I was never prepared before menarche which started at the age of 13. One early morning I went for a shower before living for school. I realised the water was coloured red. I washed this until the water got finished. I could not go out of the shower. I stayed there until it was time to go to school. My sister did not see me, so she came looking. She realised why I could not come out. My mum happily came to me and offered me a small packet with two small towels. My sister then told me to wear one of these towels in my pant before dressing up. I was reminded that any sexual activities now will lead to pregnancy.
I felt ashamed, learnt how to use tissues, even stole some tissues. A few months latter this bleeding stopped. I was informed by my mother that I fully started the normal menstruation when I turned 14. Between then, I learnt from friends something about menstruation. I never knew the different phases, development of the ovaries, fertilisation, non-fertilisation and finally menstruation.
I stand to empower THE GIRL IN ME because I see that girl in other girls. I see other girls living in very hard to reach communities in Cameroon with much pain. I see them use unclean, dirty, and unhygienic materials to manage their menstruation. Most of them don’t even know what menstruation is all about, when it starts, let to talk alone about having hygienic materials during menstruation. Menstruation, viewed as the onset of a human life is often neglected. I find it hard to just walk away for their problems. I want to bring their stories to the table and tell them to their world. The girl child and their needs have been neglected.
In my capacity as the CEO and Founder of the Cho Ngafor Foundation,(www.cnfoundation.ch) I spent two years buying and supplying disposable pads to (238) girls in different hard to reach communities in Cameroon. In February 2019, I decide to look for sustainable means to continus helping these girls. So I learnt how to sew washable pads. The “Dorena Eco-friendly Washable Pads”.(https://www.facebook.com/doreen.bieri)
I seek to educate these girls on their sexual and reproductive health rights, by teaching them their emotional, physical, and cognitive changes in their bodies before, during and after menstruation, as well as providing them with the Dorena Eco-friendly Washable pads. These pads can be used for up to a year and above if given proper care. They will in turn learn to produce these pads and support other girls in their communities.
I am open to welcome everyone one this journey. Join me as we fight har to support THE GIRL IN ME: