By: Musa Kamara
Orange Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Desmond Spaine addressing pupils of Richard Allen School
In keeping up to their promise in relation to supporting the New Direction Government’s Flagship Programme of the Free Quality School Education (FQSE), Orange which is Sierra Leone’s leading mobile operator and internet service provider in partnership with the lead campaigner organization for the empowerment of the girl child through hygiene, is undertaken sensitization and school supply of menstrual packs to schools in Freetown Urban and Rural respectively.
Addressing a cross-section of students and teachers at the Richard Allen Secondary School, Desmond Spaine who is the Corporate Social Responsibility Manager for Orange brings to mind that when President Bio launched the FQSE in August 2018, Orange pledged that they would support the President's dream and so far, the telecom network in collaboration with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) and UNICEF, have done many projects in boosting the FQSE.
In that direction he furthered that Orange is now undertaken another phase of their commitment to FQSE by providing the girl child with re-usable menstrual packs and also sensitize them on menstrual hygiene on or before their menstrual period.
He went on to disclose that such venture undertaken by Orange is for 5 years and for each year; they are doing 20 schools in each region of the country.
“For 2019, we are doing 20 schools for Freetown Urban and Rural,” he outlined.
He furthered that Orange seeks to empower the girl child and girls must stay in school instead of the usual excuses of going home when they are on their menstrual period or put simple, when they are ridicule by their male counterpart.
Spaine enlightened that Orange is given out 100 Menstrual Packs to each of the 20 schools and that the gender teams in these schools would ensure that they give out the menstrual pads to the pupils when they are on their periods.
He also disclosed that this is the very first time Orange in undertaken such menstrual hygiene education which is done in partnership with Girl Child Network.
Anita Koroma who is the Country Director for Girl Child Network explained that her institution have been operating since 2011 empowering the girl child which empowerment entails providing menstrual packs and sensitizing the girl child on the importance of their menstrual periods and that they should not be shy about it.
She commended Orange for their timely intervention in promoting girl child education wherein, excuses would not be given again for girls to go home or stay at home when they are on their periods, and which actions, she said undermines the education of the girl child.
She also provided thorough education on how girls should take care of the re-usable pads and also how they should care for their bodies thereby, avoiding teenage pregnancy or Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).