At least 12 members of RuWCED’s Girls club were welcomed during the launching ceremony in Ntabessi, Bamenda on November 30, 2020.
Participants who attended gave their expectations at the beginning of the meeting some of which included topics as menstruation, how to be bold and interact with others, gender-based violence, and more. In relation to their expectations, menstruation was chosen as the topic of discussion of the day as almost all of the girls had as expectation to know more about menstruation and their menstrual cycle.
Lessons were interactive. All ideas were considered on the topic as everyone's idea mattered. During this first session in Ntabessi, most of the girls explained that formally they thought menstrual cramps caused infertility. We made it known to them that this is a myth and has no scientific backing. Also, some of the girls said that they had no knowledge before their first menses known as menarche. One of the girls explained for example that she first thought she was sick of pile when she saw her first menses and another said she screamed thinking she was going to die because she thought that she got wounded.
In response to how they will react if a fellow friend or classmate gets stained with menses in class, one of the girls said she will give her pullover for her to cover or a pad if she has one with her. Many girls get embarrassed and shamed at during their menses. This might sound simple, but in many local communities within which we are working, basic knowledge on SRH is far fetch. Issues of sexuality is considered a taboo and parents hardly talk on such topics with their children. We are putting on our best to break this barrier and one of the effective ways in which we are doing this is taking the message to young girls through our Girls Clubs which we are expanding to many different communities.
The members of the club were delighted with the first lesson. They said that it will help them educate their peers and younger ones, so they don't make the same mistakes like them, because of lack of knowledge and failure of parents to educate their children. They were eager for the next lesson and can’t wait to complete their three months session of interactive learning and exchange with facilitators and peers.