WAD gee terug aan meisies én seuns

Women's Action for Development volg 'n tweeledige program, naamlik om die sosioëkonomiese en politieke bemagtiging van vroue en mans in nedersettings oraloor die land te takel.

09 February 2021 | Youth

Mariselle Stofberg



Women's Action for Development (WAD) is 'n niewinsgewende organisasie wat in 1994 op die been gebring is en is passievol oor menstruasie-opvoeding. Die organisasie wil die negatiewe wanopvattings en skaamte rondom dié onderwerp in die gemeenskap uitskakel.

Die organisasie fokus veral op die bemagtiging van jongmense met onder meer seksuele voortplantingsgesondheid (SRHR) en menstruele gesondheidsbestuur (MHM) en gaan hierdie jaar ook opleidingsprogramme by skole aanbied.

Die leerlinge gaan tydens die op­leiding die kans kry om meer te leer oor hulle seksuele regte en hoe om hulle menstruasie beter te bestuur.

“Hierdie is onderwerpe wat reeds in skole hanteer word. Ons taak is dus net om die werk van die ministerie van onderwys te ondersteun deur in-diepte gesprekke met kinders te hê. Ons probeer 'n lekker en gemaklike atmosfeer skep deur onder meer speletjies te speel om die onderwerp meer gemaklik en verstaanbaar te maak,” sê Tatiana Sikwila, die projekbestuurder by WAD.

Die organisasie gaan die opleiding by vyf skole in die Oshanastreek aanbied. Dit sluit Iihenda Sekon­dêre Skool, Nengushe Junior Sekondêre Skool, Kapembe Junior Sekondêre Skool, Kapolo Gekombineerde Skool en Ntuli Junior Sekondêre Skool in.

“As daar nie indieptegesprekke oor SRHR is nie, sal hierdie meisies en seuns nie voldoende kennis hê oor sleutelkwessies in seksuele gesondheid nie. Dit sluit die gevare van onbeskermde seks en ongewenste swangerskappe in. Tydens die implementering van die projek het ons opgemerk die kwessie van higiëne kan tydens menstruasie nooit oorbeklemtoon word nie, omdat sommige meisies steeds 'n agterstand het en gereeld daaroor moet praat,” sê Sikwila.

Die opleiding fokus veral op kwessies soos puberteit, SRHR vir mense met gestremdhede, voorbehoeding, menstruasie en menstruele gesondheid en die wanopvatting en stereotipes rakende menstruasie.



Uitdaag van stigmas

“Die projek is op beide meisies en seuns gemik, want hoewel meisies menstrueer, moet seuns dit ook ­verstaan. Dit help om tydelike skaamte uit die weg te ruim en om 'n gemaklike omgewing vir die meisies tydens menstruasie te skep,” sê Sikwila.

Die organisasie word hoofsaaklik deur die Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung geborg en is in al 14 streke van die land werksaam.

“Bewusmaking is nie net belangrik onder seuns nie, maar ook by ouers en gemeenskapsleiers. Oop gesprekke tussen ouers en hul kinders oor menstruasie en seksuele gesondheid sal beslis 'n positiewe uitwerking hê.

“In sommige huishoudings word 'n menstruasie as 'n taboe onderwerp beskou. Hierdie uitdaging vir die meisie om openlik te sê wanneer sy menstrueer moet uit die weg geruim word en sy moet al die steun kry wat sy nodig het,” sê Sikwila.

“In skole is die uitdaging om die seuns voortdurend by sulke kwessies te betrek, want platforms soos die Namibia Safe School Framework, The School Health Manual en Girls & Boys Clubs is beskikbaar om hulle op te voed. Die gaping is egter steeds duidelik in die gemeenskap en onder ouers, daarom is daar 'n dringendheid om bewusmakingsveldtogte van stapel te stuur en die skadelike kulturele praktyke te takel wat meisies raak,” sê Sikwila.

Die finansiering van hierdie opleiding word deur Forum Syd verskaf deur die Wise Economy Global Association uit Swede.

“Dit is nou ons verantwoordelikheid om hierdie rol in te neem en te help om die armoede in Namibië te beëindig. Ons doen 'n beroep op die onderwysers om leerlinge, ouers en besoekers aan te moedig om sanitêre doekies te skenk wanneer hulle kan, vir diegene wat dit nie kan bekostig nie. Ons moedig mense aan om doekies by ons kantoor in Ruhrstraat in die Noordelike Nywerheidsgebied in Windhoek af te laai.

“Hierdie skenkings word elke maand aan meisies gegee wat die ondersteuning die nodigste het.

“Laat ons almal help om ons meisies in die skool te hou.”

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