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My first period – Juliana Aryee tells her story

Juliana Aryee, 13, can’t wait to right her wrongs in her subsequent periods. She schools at the Dr. FV Nanka Bruce Primary and JHS in Korle Gono in the Greater Accra Region.

"I remember the first day I had my period, I was such a novice. I didn’t know how to fix the pad and I didn’t run a bath before I went to bed,’’ Juliana said. "I always want to learn how to do it but there was nobody to teach me’’. She added

Juliana’s little knowledge on menstruation became evident after she had her first period. Even though she remembers learning about it in class, her experience tainted her memory to recall anything. She couldn’t tell her single father about it too. She was wholly helpless.

"I had closed from school and there was nobody at home. While I was undressing, I saw my first blood – it was then I realised I had my period. My father wasn’t at home and so I hid my pant to prevent him from seeing it. I felt weird the entire time’’ the 13-year-old recalls.

Her frustrations vanished after she attended the Girls Mentoring Program organised by the Rebecca Foundation in collaboration with UNFPA Ghana with support from the Canadian Government. The program provided insight into personal values, personal hygiene, and confidence building among others.

‘’I’ve learnt to fix sanitary pads correctly. I’ve also learnt to take my bath twice daily.’’

Not only that. She’s also advocating for girls in her community to uphold personal hygiene practices.