The Rotary Club of Lagos Palmgrove Estate has put smiles on the faces of several school children in Lagos with the donation of sanitary pads to all female students in seven schools.
The club made the donation during the launch of its ‘Project Nora Dreams’ in Lagos.
The project is named ‘Nora Dreams’, signifying the freedom towards self-dignity.
According to the club, the gesture was informed by the need to give succor to young school girls suffering from lack of money to buy sanitary pads, making them to miss classes in schools during their monthly cycle.
The club, well known for its humanitarian activities, while declaring open the monthly distribution of sanitary pads to girls in government schools within Ilupeju and Victoria Island areas of Lagos State for free, lamented that many NGOs would rather give condoms for free to men whereas sex is a choice, yet there are many young girls in need of help.
The schools that benefited from the gesture included Estate Grammar School, Ilujeju, Ilujeju Secondary School, Eva Adelaja Girls Secondary School, Aje Comprehensive High School, Surulere Secondary Girls School, Kuramo Junior College and Victoria Island Junior College.
“We knew the significance of the project before taking it up. When we actually started implementing it, the impact was manifold,” said Rotarian Ravindra Kamat, the immediate Past President of the Club.
The club during the first anniversary of the project, which was launched exactly a year ago, decided to conduct the distribution process across all eight schools it adopted for the program on the same day.
So far, it has evolved from the distribution of sanitary pads inside an envelope at the initial stage to counseling on the subject.
“The first main purpose to achieve from this project is to reduce, if not to zero percent the number of school girls who are absent from schools during those 4-5 days of their monthly period”, says Kamat, “while the second equally important focus is to create an awareness amongst the girls, their families as well as their male counterparts that this is a very natural phenomenon in a girl’s life and there’s nothing to be ashamed about or to feel shy about”,
Hygienic environment and self-confidence are the two biggest advantages of the ‘Project Nora Dreams’. The club for now is reaching 2,250 girls spread across seven government schools within Lagos on monthly bases. So far, 4, 000 girls have benefitted across District 9110 of Rotary Club.
Research reveals that more than 40% of female students miss school during the 3-5 days of their monthly menstrual periods. Major reasons were pain, anxiety about leakage, staining of their uniforms and shame. As a result, the club in partnership with Ishk Tolaram Foundation has taken up the project of alleviating the burdens of the girls in these schools. And it is bent on sustaining it.
The club, which has focus on educating young children has been involved in the distribution of desks for pupils in schools within Ilupeju, providing water and sanitation facilities in three schools within the vicinity. It has also conducted free vaccinations against cervical cancer to 110 female students of Estate Grammar School, Ilupeju.
The club is among highest donors of blood to the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee (LSBTC). It gives out free artificial limps to accident victims or those who lost their limps due to sickness, it carries out free health camps, free eye screening, and is planning to carry out 2, 000 free cataract surgeries for underprivileged Nigerians this year. It is also building its own eye hospital which is already at the completion stage.