By Josephine Agbonkhese
As Nigeria joins the world to mark this year’s World Menstrual Hygiene Day, Raquel Daniel, Founder, Beyond the Classroom Foundation, has announced plans to unveil her new book, Flow: A Girl’s Guide to Menstruation.
The book, she told Vanguard, is designed to increase awareness about good menstrual hygiene management and ensure that more young girls, especially those approaching puberty, are armed with the necessary information needed to stay clean.
She added that Flow: A Girl’s Guide to Menstruation, aims to guide the young girl through menstrual hygiene and help her embrace, positively, that which has become a part of her life.
Daniel, a non-profit clarity coach, said: “I remember I was not scared or confused while having my period for the first time. I knew exactly what was happening.
“Unlike other girls my age at the time, I was relieved. I did not think I was going to bleed to death. I can say for a fact, that I was prepared.”
She, however, attributed that knowledge to her late father, who prepared her mind.
Her words: “My late father told me everything I needed to know about menstruation and menstrual hygiene before I turned 10. Unfortunately, so many girls, especially those in rural communities, welcome their first periods with anxiety and very little knowledge of menstruation.
“In my work with girls, I have seen how the lack of accurate information has negatively affected how menstruation is perceived.”
She said she had, through Beyond the Classroom Foundation, interacted with young girls in various communities, learning about their fears regarding the changes that come with puberty and in turn, menstruation.
She told Vanguard: “I have had the opportunity to enlighten, educate and prepare these girls for the beautiful new phase of their lives.
“I have also made them realise the endless possibilities that come with it through projects like ‘Project Red Robots’, through which we have distributed sanitary pads to over 10,000 girls across Nigeria.
“We have also partnered Sanitary Aid Initiative and Abuja Global Shapers to provide 300 sanitary pads, 800 underpants and 500 face masks to girls in an IDP Camp in Abuja.
“Quite recently, we partnered Socially Africa who raised over $4,000 which provided a three-month supply of sanitary wares to women and girls in the communities we work with in Lagos State.”
On what inspired her new book, Daniel said: “It is these experiences and a need to do more in changing the narrative on how menstruation is perceived, that inspired this book. ‘FLOW’ is a book that every girl can relate to.
“It serves as a guide to help girls navigate through the world of puberty. In this book, I spoke about how my late father taught me about menstruation, shared my personal experiences, practical advice and information on managing menstruation.
“The book is designed to address the major concerns every young girl goes through during puberty,” she added, stressing the importance of menstrual hygiene.