Irise International invited girls from a local primary school in Jinja to take part in a writing competition on the theme of "A day in the life of Mariam the superhero..." to celebrate the launch of our new Mariam cartoon and menstruation handbook for girls.
Girls received teaching on menstruation and puberty and the winning entries received free reusable Easy Pads as prizes.
Read the winning entries below:
Senior woman teacher: Good morning to you Mariam. How are you?
Mariam: I am not fine.
Senior woman teacher: Why are you not fine?
Mariam: I am not fine because I woke up in the morning and my dress. I didn’t know and when I went to fetch water the boys started laughing, I realised that there was something wrong and quickly ran to the domitory.
Senior woman teacher: Mariam, menstruation is common in girls.
Mariam: The boys are laughing at me
Senior woman teacher: Don’t worry we are going to talk to them.
Mariam: Thank you madam.
Senior woman teacher: Now Mariam, you are a menstrual super hero.
She started advising other girls about menstruation and encouraging them to walk with pads because menstruation happens suddenly. Every month it happens in girls and I personally encourage girls to use pads. I stand to help girls. I wonder why boys think that menstruation is not normal. Girls should stand up and help other girls because it happens to everyone when they reach a certain stage. She told girls not to fear when they start their menstruation periods.
The senior woman teacher thanked them for taking her and told them she needed to speak to her alone for a moment. The two pupils waited outside. In the office the teacher told Mariam not to worry or get scared. She continued by telling her that she had started menstruating, she also told her that it happens to every adolescent girl. The senior woman teacher then talked to all girls on how to use sanitary pads. She arranged with the head teacher to invite a health worker to talk to all students - boys and girls about menstruation hygiene and its management.
A year later, another girl called Rose also faced the same problem as Mariam had. Mariam helped her because she knew about menstruation and from that day on, Mariam became a menstrual super hero.
We believe that the next generation of superheroes are in the classroom. Help us keep them there!
Become a period buddy and match you spend on sanitary products each month to help girls like Mariam get the pads and information they need to feel free and stay in school during their periods.