By Mhlomuli Ncube

Growing up comes with responsibilities and challenges, moreso for girls in the village, who are having difficulties accessing sanitary pads.

Sometime back, Mrs Margaret Radasi was just like school going girls in a Mbembesi village in Matebeleland North Province.

As she watches girls in her village trudging along the road back and forth between home and school, her heart bleeds.

Her pain comes from the thought of the difficulties the girls face during their menstruation periods.

“When we grew up, we had to learn the hard way; we had grandmothers who would teach us how to handle ourselves. There were traditional methods of how to deal with monthly flows. But now sanitary ware is expensive, the girls do not have anybody to teach them also like us who had grandmothers who were knowledgeable…” said Radasi

The girls have sad stories to tell and their plight is not made any easier by the long distances they travel to get to school.

“They mock us and we are affected very much at such a time…when I started menstruating I asked my grandmother who said I should use leaves….I cannot afford to buy pads,” they said.

It is still an ongoing challenge and not unique to this part of Matabeleland North Province.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Dr Sithembiso Nyoni says government wants to see more schools built in every ward in the country and continues roping in development partners to assist in the sanitary pads battle.

“It’s a very sad issue. We have realised that this is a fight not only for government hence we get a lot of assistance from other development partners to give out sanitary ware…” said Dr Nyoni

While Mrs Radasi is just a widow in the village, she is one of the heroines committed to make a difference in Zimbabwe.

Just a pad for every girl is her dream and she has not stopped fighting the cause.

Government and development partners have not disappointed her as they come on board and there is hope in her that these girls will not experience what she went through when she was growing up.