A non-governmental organization (NGO), Dignity Liberia, has begun a three-day livelihood training program for selected women and school girls in tailoring with a specific concentration in the production of reusable sanitary pads or menstrual cups.
The three-day training is also intended to keep young girls in school while they are experiencing their menstrual periods as well as teach them to make hygiene kits.
The training, which started on Monday, March 2, 2020, targets 250 persons and is undertaken in partnership with the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Rescue Our People (ROP).
The entity, which is located at Family Medical Center in Jacob Town, outside Monrovia, is headed by Reverend Emie Sam-Peal and Matthew Walters, the office manager.
Prior to the coming of the delegation, the members used to make the menstrual cups and send them to Liberia for use by the students at the Liberia Fistula Rehab Center.
This time around, they are in the country to teach the students how to make the cups for themselves.
Madam Kathi Gutierrez, founder and president of Dignity Liberia, at the head of a nine-member delegation, expressed gratitude to the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health for expressing its interest in providing livelihood to the many school-going girls and women in the country.
“Dignity Liberia has been in existence since 2012; so we think coming to Liberia twice a year to work with women who have fistula is something of serious concern, but our mission here is about women; strengthening and giving them hope, restoring their lives. So, the hygiene kits fall in that, because it will empower them locally,” Madam Gutierrez said.
She noted that whenever women are in their menstrual cycle, they always stay away from school and because of that the ongoing training will capacitate them to have the means of staying in school and getting their complete education.
Madam Gutierrez said: “I am so excited that the Ministry of Health sees the importance of it and teaching girls and women how to make sustainable, reusable menstrual pads is very unique.”
Also speaking, the Director of Family Health Division at MOH, Bentoe Zoogley Tehoungue said the production of menstrual pads is intended to help address the economic burden faced by many school-going young girls in the country.
According to her, the training also presents entrepreneurship an opportunity for the students who could make reusable menstrual pads for sale or make a business teaching others how to do it.
“Menstrual pads that are sold in shops, pharmacies and other places are very expensive for most of the students and, for that, most of them who cannot afford stay away from school when they are receiving,” said a Dignity Liberia expert.
Dignity Liberia, according to its members, seeks to bring restoration and hope to women with fistula and their communities through healing, education, and fistula prevention.