Agnes (not her real name) a form three student followed one of the youth counsellors after discussion with all girls in her school. She had a personal question. “I was keenly following your discussions and I found it very useful. Thank you for coming to our school and giving us sanitary towels and panties, I am very happy. Now I don’t have to worry for the next three months.” Her tone changed and with a low voice aware of her surrounding she asked,’ At times I get things like small pieces of meat coming out my private parts during periods, is that a problem?’ The counselor responded to her concern and she was satisfied.
Lowering her voice further and looking around to make sure that neither the other students nor her teacher was listening to the conversation she asked sometimes I get white stuffs coming out of my private part, sometimes it is so itchy na naskia kuwashwa (I feel a burning sensation) what could be the problem? The counselor discussed some of the factors that make one have those signs.; When the counselor mentioned about panties, immediately Agnes eyes become teary and within a short time she was crying. Not knowing what had happened, the counselor held her hands and after a few sobs Agnes told her why she was crying. I have only two panties and sometimes it is difficult to have them dry especially during rainy season…so this results to me putting them on when wet.
Sometimes my young sister takes one so I only remain with one. It is very challenging especially during my periods because I cannot go to school because I neither have pads nor panties. I usually use a cloth and sometimes wear my small brother’s shorts. We are so poor that my parents cannot afford to buy us panties and sanitary pad…their priority is food. My small sisters don’t know what a pantie is (that’s why don’t wear) because my parents cannot afford. The counselor gave her the remaining two panties, she was grateful and vowed not to miss school because of lack of sanitary pads or pantie”.