Luthando Mapepa Chipinge Correspondent
THE girl child and women in Chimanimani and Chipinge received a short in the arm when the Young Men’s Christian Association Zimbabwe (YMCA), which had identified gaps in the areas of health, education and psychosocial support in the areas affected by Cyclone Idai, handed over re-usable sanitary pads and stationery to over 100 young survivors.
YMCA, in partnership with Y-Care International, chipped in through the provision of social psychosocial support, learning and reproductive health materials after noting that they were not being prioritised by major aid agencies.
The learning materials comprised of counter books, pens, covers, cellotapes, satchels and re-usable sanitary pads, among others.
Orphans and primary school pupils from child-headed families also received backpacks, clothes and the above mentionedstationery.
Speaking at the handover ceremony held at Nyahode Clinic, Ward 13, Chipinge, YMCA youth chairperson, Mr Elton Jimu said they were taking a holistic approach in assisting the surviving victims of Cyclone Idai.
He said they had identified gaps in areas such health, education and psychosocial support and were moving in to assist the vulnerable girl child and other children to pursue their education in the aftermath the devastating disaster.
“We firmly believe in the use of a holistic approach, not just distributing food handouts. We are looking at something that is more sustainable, with our primary focus being the girl child and young children because they are the country’s future leaders.
“We have also seen it fit to remember girl child by introducing re-usable pads which are very economical. We firmly believe that there should special attention to reproductive health needs to ensure the young girls are safe,” said Mr Jimu.
Mr Jimu also said health was also a major focus for their organisation, hence their decision to equip the girls with skills to produce re-usable sanity pads.
“Currently we are at a point where we want young girls here to produce these pads and sell to other communities outside the Cyclone-hit areas so that they can raise income for other needs. The whole idea is about sustainability and continuity. This is a critical project, especially in this economic environment where most women cannot afford sanitary pads.
“It is imperative that we produce these re-usable sanitary pads. We are also supporting with psychosocial support to help these young children heal and continue with their normal lives,” said Mr Jimu.
YMCA programmes coordinator Mr Francis Lembani said they will continue addressing gaps in the Cyclone-hit areas and assist those in need.
“Maternal health, child welfare and education are our key focus areas, and we believe these are key indicators of the country’s economic growth,” said Mr Lembani.
Village head Mr Nickson Pfumo expressed gratitude over the gesture saying the support will go a long way in rebuilding the lives of his traumatised subjects.
“People can easily rebuild their lives if they receive maximum help and support. I am delighted that young girls and women are being assisted to rebuild their lives. Without hope and support we will perish,” said Mr Pfumo.