Some students of Tudunwada Model Primary School, Tsakuwa, Talata Marafa Local Government Area of Zamfara State currently benefiting from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Girls for Girls (G4G) initiative have said that the programme is yielding positive impact on their personal hygiene.
The students are among the 15,303 girls selected through the G4G Initiative in three northern states including, Bauchi, Katsina and Zamfara.
Speaking with the Daily Times during a field trip to assess the project implementation at the Tudun Wada Primary School, Talata-Mafara, Zamfara, 16 years old Amina Abdulahi said that the G4G programme has improved her self confidence, cleanliness as well as the zeal to further her education.
She said, “Before this programme, I never knew the importance of brushing my teeth everyday but since I got involved in G4G activities, I use brush and tooth paste. I also have my bath three times daily that is before school, after school, when the weather is not good, and at night.
“As a participant in the programme, I was also taught how to always wash my hands after using the toilet. My personal hygiene has improved as well as my self esteem”.
On her part, 14 years old Fatima Mohammed who explained that she was reluctant to partake in the programme at the initial stage said she has no regrets being part of it.
According to her, UNICEF taught them how to produce the pad to look like a normal sanitary pad.
“Our mentors during one of our classes taught us how to make pads which can be reused. Before then, I put any rag I find in my pant when my period comes.
This rag absorbs the blood for some time and later stains my pants. Also, the rag sometimes almost fall off when it is too soaked but the story is no longer the same since i started the program.
“I made three pads during the training, which I now use during my menstrual period. After using one, I wash the pad and spread it under the sun because we were told it helps kill the germs, then I take my bath and use another pad.
After the entire period, I put the pads together into a bag to keep them safe and away from germs until my next menstruation,” she added.
Also, Talatu Jibrin, 42 years old G4G mentor and a teacher in the school said the programme had improved her knowledge as a teacher and a mentor.
“There are some things I do not know even as a teacher, but when G4G was introduced, they trained us and taught us a lot of things that have changed our lives.
“After we were trained, it was not quite easy convincing the girls to partake in the G4G programme but now they are all happy they are part of it. We have all benefited many things from this programme,” she said.
The G4G initiative is a component of the Girls’ Education Project Phase 3 (GEP3) launched by UNICEF in 2017.
It is being implemented in Northern Nigeria in collaboration with the UNICEF, Nigeria and the federal government with funding from UKAid.
The initiative seeks to empower girls with information and knowledge to help build their capacity to stand up for themselves, help put one million girls in school, support them to remain in school and improve their learning achievement.
About 15, 303 girls are currently enrolled in selected schools through the G4G initiative in three northern states.
UNICEF’s Education Specialist, Mrs. Azuka Menkiti had during a media dialogue organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture in collaboration with UNICEF in Zamfara State, lamented the high rate of drop out of girls from schools between primary four to six.