The sanitary pad donors visited schools and communities around the country “blessing” young women with sanitary pads and teaching them how to use them.
Then along came Covid-19 which automatically put a pause to life. A huge disadvantage to the economically challenged young ladies like Alice a vendor from Epworth the 15 year old girl who looks after her blind grandmother and three siblings. Her source of income was also put to a halt and nowadays it is difficult to get part time maid jobs.
Her privates are itchy because the dreaded flowing red blood is back again and all she has for now are newspapers which are soaking way too fast and causing the itch.
She ran out of the two packs of sanitary pads that the donors “officially” presented her with in front of a camera in January 2020. She is back to using an old t-shirt and newspapers that the madam who she worked for as a part time house maid in Hatfield gave her.
“I do not know how to sew, therefore I cannot make reusable pads, I am willing to learn if someone teaches me. For now I have to make do with what I have,” she says.
All hope for the precious pads is but a dream for her. Such is life for ordinary women and girls in the country. It is way too expensive for them to purchase just one packet. Many are in the same situation as the beautiful Miss Alice who has to make sure that her family is fed. For her a sanitary pad is a luxury that she cannot waste the precious money buying.
The itch she experiences might be a red alert and she is not aware of the forthcoming health dangers of using paper or cow dung during menstruation. It is a silent cry that no visible eye can see.
In most rural areas like Zaka Jerera where this writer paid a visit some girls are at a risk of having cervical cancer because they are using cow dung.
Speaking to rapper D-Blok Keislim, had this to say, “depending on donors that they must always donate to people because that is their job is not going to work. What if they do not have adequate stuff to move during the pandemic?”
“Secondly we all know some people who donate with a media team in tow aren’t really into humanitarian work. They have nothing to gain. They are exploitive beings cut and klar. I think to teach them to fend for themselves, is better than kuti vadzidzire kumirira mahandouts no?
“With rising through it all then it would be RISER. But if it’s to keep pushing no matter how hard it gets then it would be SANGO,” she said quoting her song titles.
Menstruation is a special part of womanhood that should be comfortable even though there is a bit of pain involved, a sanitary pad should be easily accesible free of charge.