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Winner of 2023 Laissez-Passer Global Contest Launches Project at UEW

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Published: Wed, 05/29/2024 - 18:01

In an inspiring initiative, a team of scholars from the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), who emerged victorious in the 2023 Laissez-Passer of the Erasmus Generation global contest, has officially launched their project, “Empowering Girls Through Menstrual Hygiene Awareness.”

The launch took place at the SLT7 Block, South Campus, UEW, on Tuesday, 28th May, 2024, coinciding with World Menstrual Hygiene Day.

The project, championed by Mrs. Nelly Adjoa Sakyi-Hagan and Dr. (Mrs.) Charity Esenam Anor, aims to empower young girls in the rural areas of the Effutu Municipality by providing education, raising awareness, and distributing essential goods to address menstrual challenges. This initiative seeks to create a supportive environment that promotes both educational and personal well-being.

A cross-section of dignitaries who graced the occasion
A cross-section of dignitaries who graced the occasion

The launch saw participation from six basic schools within the Effutu Municipality, constituting 350 students and 14 teachers. Distinguished guests from the university community including Prof. Victor Antwi, Pro-Vice-Chancellor; Prof. Braimah Awaisu Imurana, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies; Prof. Ruby Hanson, Professor of Chemistry; Prof. Jones Apawu, Director of Programmes and Innovation at the College for Distance and e-Learning (CODeL); and Prof. Arkoful Sam, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Science Education (FSE), graced the event. Additionally, the Effutu Director of the Ghana Education Service, Madam Dinah Anderson, was present.

Throughout the event, students were educated about menstruation and its cycles, the importance of practicing good menstrual hygiene, and the need to break societal taboos surrounding menstruation. The project distributed branded exercise books and menstrual products to each of the 350 students, a gesture aimed at ensuring continuous support throughout the year.

An aerial shot of attendees
An aerial shot of attendees

Dr. Charles Kwesi Koomson, Head of the Department of Integrated Science Education, commended the project initiators in his welcome address. He highlighted the significance of this initiative in contributing to global efforts to create a supportive and inclusive environment for girls, particularly in rural communities, by addressing critical issues related to menstrual hygiene and reproductive health.

Carlo Bitetto, Network Manager at the garagErasmus Foundation, conveyed his enthusiasm for funding the first project in Ghana since the Laissez-Passer of the Erasmus Generation's inception in 2017. "The garagErasmus Foundation is dedicated to providing educational opportunities worldwide, and we are thrilled to support our first project in Ghana. We hope to see this project thrive for many months and possibly years," he stated.

From top L-R: Prof. Victor Antwi, Dr. Charles Kwesi Koomson, Prof. Jones Apawu and Carlo Bitetto
From top L-R: Prof. Victor Antwi, Dr. Charles Kwesi Koomson, Prof. Jones Apawu and Carlo Bitetto

Prof. Victor Antwi addressed the prevalent misconceptions about menstruation and urged the male students present to disseminate the knowledge gained to their peers and parents, aiming to transform society’s negative perceptions of menstruation.

Representing the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Jones Apawu emphasised the importance of educating young girls about menstruation as a natural and beneficial phenomenon, countering societal beliefs that portray it as a curse.

Ms. Cynthia Jebuni-Adanu (left) and Dr. Kojo Amamfo Ninson
Ms. Cynthia Jebuni-Adanu (left) and Dr. Kojo Amamfo Ninson

The event, chaired by Prof. Ruby Hanson, featured insightful presentations on menstrual hygiene and reproductive health by Ms. Cynthia Jebuni-Adanu, a lecturer at FSE, and Dr. Kojo Amamfo Ninson, a medical practitioner at the UEW Health Services Directorate. Their presentations provided valuable information, further enriching the knowledge of attendees.

This launch marks a significant step in promoting menstrual hygiene awareness and empowerment for girls in rural Winneba, reflecting the dedication and innovation of UEW scholars in addressing critical social issues.

Distribution of branded exercise books and menstrual products
Students receiving branded exercise books and menstrual products
A group picture after the ceremony

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