Speak Up Africa and Special Olympics Senegal are long time partners in the fight against malaria, immunization awareness and breaking taboos around menstrual hygiene management (MHM).
Last week, at the Speak Up Africa Lab in Pikine, Senegal, the two organizations joined forces again for a training that prepared 19 Special Olympic coaches, from regions across Senegal, with the skills they will need to facilitate MHM awareness activities for people living with intellectual disabilities.
Lead by Speak Up Africa Gender Expert Consultant Selly Ba, and Sanitation Program Officer Sophie Diop, the day-long workshop was broken into three modules covering:
- The concepts of gender and equity, where participants were encouraged to share their thoughts on the topic;
- Health and menstrual hygiene including the biological aspects of menstruation;
- Use and diversity of feminine hygiene products with a demonstration.
At the conclusion of the workshop, coaches received workshop materials, which they will use to conduct their own MHM trainings for Special Olympic athletes, and stressed the need for ongoing collaboration in providing solutions that meet the needs of young people with intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics Senegal is part of a global movement of people creating a new world of inclusion and community, using sports to help people with intellectual disabilities discover new skills, confidence and fulfillment. Working to spread compassion and tolerance, the international organization provides a wide range of training programs, competitions, medical examinations and fundraising events that focus on changing attitudes and supporting athletes.
Speak Up Africa’s “No Taboo Periods” campaign aims to positively impact and change perceptions around MHM, targeting national policies and decision makers in health, environment, water and sanitation. Workshops have been delivered in Senegal, and in Freetown, by special request of H.E. Sia Nyama Koroma, the First Lady of Sierra Leone.