Her Majesty Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso distributed sanitary materials to 424 girls drawn from four schools in the Berea district on Monday and the event was held at Senekane Primary School in Berea on Monday.
The four schools included Mokoallong Primary and High Schools, Senekane and St. Lucia Primary Schools.
The event which marked the annual celebration of the World Menstrual Hygiene Day was organised by World Vision Lesotho. The World Menstrual Hygiene Day is celebrated annually on May 28 to highlight the importance of good menstrual management.
In her remarks, Her Majesty commented that according to researches, one in 10 girls are absent from school during their menstruation, saying this need to be addressed.
She applauded World Vision for working hard to restore girls’ dignity and confidence so that they grow to be strong young women and young leaders.
She added that this initiative will help the country to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 12.
Speaking at the same event, World Vision- Lesotho National Director, Mrs. Pauline Okumu said her organisation which is a Christian Relief, development and advocacy organisation is committed to improving the wellbeing of children all over the world.
She said in Lesotho the organisation aims to improve the wellbeing of 550,000 children by the year 2020 through interventions in the areas of health, education, livelihood and child protection.
Mrs. Okumu added that her organisation joined the government and education partners around the country, the leadership as well as the Berea community in celebrating the World Menstrual Hygiene Day at Senekane Primary School to signify the impact that menstrual hygiene has on the education of the girl child.
She said the World Menstrual Hygiene Day was initiated by the international community in May 2014, saying since May is the fifth month of the year, most women average 5 days every month with menstrual cycles of approximately 28 days. She added that the Day aims to benefit women and girls worldwide and that it serves as a global platform for partners across all sectors to engage in action, advocacy, and knowledge sharing around menstrual hygiene management.
She indicated that the theme for the celebration is ‘No more limits: empowering women and girls through good menstrual hygiene,”
The theme highlights that when girls experience menstruation without adequate facilities, information or materials to manage their menses at school, they become distracted and unable to concentrate. This normally results in girls isolating themselves or becoming socially excluded by peers, hence participating less or not at all in class.
“This usually leads to such girls dropping out of school altogether. A woman who drops out of school is one who becomes disempowered and unable to actively participate in the economic development of the country,” she commented.
The World Vision National Director pointed out that the SDG4 spells clearly that to achieve quality education requires concerted efforts of all including parents, guardians, development agencies and governments.
On that note she extended the heartfelt appreciation to the business community, individuals and World Vision Lesotho that have for the second year in a row generously donated hygiene sanitary materials which the Queen distributed to the girls.
She said World Vision and UNICEF together with Lesotho government line ministries have in addition reached 3, 500 pupils with sanitary pads, 2, 879 pupils with clean water, 6,202 pupils with improved sanitation facilities and 18,448 with hygiene knowledge.
“’This is only a drop in the ocean considering the dire need for such services, we can clearly do better.” She concluded.