On October 11, 2018, International Day of the Girl Child, the managing nurse of the health centre in Grand Pré, Jaccine Bastien, visited the national school to talk about menstrual health with 110 students, boys and girls, aged 9 to 12.
With great professionalism, skill and humour, Ms. Bastien talked with the students about the changes that come with puberty and answered questions from the girls and boys of this commune of Quartier Morin, in Haiti’s Nord department.
“I am grateful to Ms. Bastien for the information she shared with us today. There are things I did not know that I will now start doing differently,” reported one student. Gender issues, building egalitarian social relations between genders, and preventing discrimination against girls because of their menstruation were the cornerstones of the activity.
“We received important advice on how to protect our dignity and to build better relations between girls and boys,” added another student.
The person responsible for gender equality on the ACOSME project, along with a nursing intern from the Université de Montréal, supported the health care provider from Grand Pré in developing this workshop, which was welcomed with great enthusiasm by the school’s directors, teachers and students.
“For the longest time in Haiti, menstruation was covered in taboo. Thanks to initiatives like this one, however, our children will be better prepared to face the upcoming changes,” noted the director of Grand Pré’s national school.
“On this International Day of the Girl Child, all I wish for them is to be treated by society with impartiality!” concluded Jaccine Bastien.