Her Excellency Fatima Maada Bio on Wednesday 24th February 2021 continued with the distribution of the Free Sanitary Pad to school going girls within the Lungi, Lunsar, Port Loko and Masiaka environs, as part of a Nationwide distribution process targeting 60,000 beneficiaries.
Speaking during the distribution exercise, the Resident Minister Haja Isata Abdulai Kamara said history has been made in her region, and the government is a people centred government. She added this is a first Sanitary Pad distribution initiative by a First Lady in the history of Sierra Leone. “The First Lady is a champion for Women’s Empowerment and a respecter of human beings” she added, stating the girls will never forget her visit as a source of inspiration as they received the Sanitary pads kits that will last each child for a year.
The First Lady in her statement said, she concentrating on school girls because H.E the President believes in the empowerment of the Girl Child, hence he is committed to giving them the same opportunity as boys so they can build a greater Sierra Leone.
The CEO of Maada and Fatima Bio foundation Mrs. Samba addressing the pupils added , she stands proud, to see the historic event, as the foundation have been working towards developing girls through the Hands Of Our Girl’s campaign which is the flagship program of the First Lady.
In her statement at the distribution event in all the schools in Lungi Ammaddiya muslim Secondary school, Port Loko Catholic Secondary School, A D Wurie Secondary School Lunsar, and Ammaddiya Secondary School Masiaka, H. E. Fatima Maada Bio told the cheerful young girls that menstruation is natural and not something too be ashamed of. “Menstruation is not a choice, you need not be ashamed because it is not a crime” Madam Fatima told the girls. She admonished them to focus on their education and say “no” to Early Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy.
She said the delivery of the Free Sanitary Pad is in fulfilment of a promise she and H.E President Julius Maada Bio made to provide hygienic sanitary pads to school girls as part of the ‘Hands off Our Girls’ Campaign to keep them in school during their menstrual cycle. The idea of the First Lady to provide free sanitary pads for young girls, received praise across the country and described by many, as a project aimed at liberating young girls from systemic cultural shame and embarrassment. The ‘𝗛𝗔𝗡𝗗𝗦 𝗢𝗙𝗙 𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗚𝗜𝗥𝗟𝗦’campaign serves as a defense for young women against well placed men in society who use underage girls as a sex object for pleasure.
H. E. Fatima Maada Bio said Sierra Leone can only change if we as Sierra Leoneans understand what patriotism truly means, adding that it is ok to believe in one’s political party but it is better to believe in one’s country and humanity. She said sex is inevitable but it is better to have sex at the right time and urge the girls that sex should not be their priority while in school, saying girls should focus on their education, because with education they are assured a promising future.
She disclosed that she is engaged in Hands Off Our Girl’s campaign tour to get to know her girls by interacting with them as she instils in them the need to be resilient.
Other highlights of the distribution tour included performances by markmuday and Rap Gee.
Strategic Communication Division
Office of The First Lady
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