Volunteers of One Life Aid Foundation (OLAF) have taken two major projects, the Menstrual and Hand Hygiene projects to the Koforidua School for the Deaf, where they educated students on best hygiene practices for a healthy living.
OLAF, a Koforidua-based Non-Governmental Organization which is focused on assisting less and under privileged school children in communities across Ghana last Friday embarked on the two projects to sensitize school children of the Koforidua School for the Death on the need to keep themselves clean at all times.
The projects were also used to interact with the students, especially girls, on some challenges they face during their menstrual periods.
Facilitators of the project took the students through the various stages of hand washing as well as menstrual hygiene.
Speaking to one of the facilitators, Clementia Emefa Gadetor, she indicated that poor hygiene conditions mostly affect the lives of the individual in so many ways.
According to her, hand washing is one of the many ways people especially children can prevent contracting diseases such as eye defects, diarrhea, respiratory infections, flu and cough.
She also explained that unwashed or dirty hands contaminate the foods we eat which in turn, bring other health related ailments to the individual.
Taking the children through hand washing processes, she advised them to take hand washing seriously so as to stay healthy at all times, whilst challenging the girls not to allow their periods hinder them from engaging in class activities.
The Founder and Executive Director of the Foundation, Joycelyn Siaw-Asamoah who spoke in an interview from London, enumerated that the Foundation is embarking on the Hand washing and menstrual hygiene projects considering the complications many school girls go through during their menstrual periods due to improper sanitary conditions.
She also indicated that most girls are not well educated on how to take care of themselves during that period and so most of them end up disgracing themselves in public before boys which do affect their education since majority of them owing to sheer shyness, stay away from school as result.
Joycelyn Siaw-Asamoah said the goal of menstrual hygiene management is to ensure that girls can manage their periods in a way that is not only healthy but that enables their full participation in school activities.
She averred that in developing countries like Ghana, girls miss classes and may drop out of school when they have their periods, adding that sanitary pads or other resources are cost-prohibitive or otherwise unavailable for young girls, schools may not have safe and clean private toilets where girls can manage their periods whilst most of them are scared that classmates will notice that they are menstruating hence the introduction of the project.
The Headmistress of the Koforidua School for the Deaf, Madam Diddy Ntim said personal hygiene is the key to healthy living and that the projects that the Foundation is undertaking in schools will go a long way to inculcate the habits of cleanliness in the children.
She commended OLAF for the gesture and asked that other benevolent organization will follow the footsteps of OLAF so as to create a better society for all.
Madam Diddy Ntim in an interview indicated that the school which begun with 8 students in 1975 can boast of over two hundred students who are under the care of government.
According to her, government takes care of the tuition, feeding and housing of the students and that parents who have such people with hearing impairment and mentally handicapped children mustn’t shy away from bringing them to school.
She said, “Every child in Ghana needs education, so I am appealing to parents to bring their children to school so as together we can secure a brighter future for these children.”
Later in the day, volunteers of the Foundation made some donations to the school. Among the items donated include pairs of sandals, hand washing bowls, liquid soap, sanitary pads for girls, bags of rice, cooking oil and other assorted items.
See photos below: