African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) troops stationed in Dhobley on Wednesday joined hands with a local women’s group in mentoring the Dhobley Primary school girls during the commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child.
During the event, ATMIS Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officers alongside the Dhobley Women’s Association – a Community Based Organisation (CBO) that advocates for the empowerment of women- conducted sessions to educate girls at the school on menstrual health and hygiene.
“We are here to talk to the girls about various aspects that affect teenage girls including menstrual hygiene, mental health and substance abuse,” said Major Ruth Omedi, the ATMIS Sector Two Gender Officer.
“It’s our mandate as ATMIS to ensure the empowerment of women and girls. In particular, we are focusing on health because it’s the only wealth these girls have at the moment and we need to preserve that wealth for their future,” she added.
The Dhobley Level Two Hospital Public Health Officer, Captain Janet Chebet, emphasised the importance of personal hygiene as it reduces the risk of infections and contributes to the general health of the community.
“The girls are now well informed about menstrual health, general hygiene and good sanitation practices for their wellbeing,” noted Captain Chebet.
Naim Mohamed, a member of the Dhobley Women’s Association, said the session will empower the teenage girls to confidently navigate the challenges of menstruation with dignity. She expressed gratitude to ATMIS for the initiative.
“I am happy to be part of this programme which aims to empower teenage girls with vital information on personal hygiene and counsel them on mental health. We want to request ATMIS to conduct similar sessions regularly,” she noted.
The International day of the Girl Child is observed on 11 October every year to recognise girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
The day focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).