FEHINTOLA OGUNYE INITIATIVE: Health and Career talk for Secondary School Girls

Eyin temi,

March 28th, 2017 was a very good day for me and the girls of Community Grammar School, Mokola, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. Did you ask why?

I organised a health and career talk for the girls of Community Grammar School, Mokola. Yay!!! 

MASTER GAVE ME A TALENT

Last year, I got the idea to give out free sanitary pads to girls in public schools. The idea came to me while at work (I believe it came from God, giver of all good things). I was going to buy pads, load a car, drive to any public school (I can't drive so I'll ask a friend or get a cab) and share free sanitary pads to their female students. I thought it was a wonderful idea but I needed a sounding board, I sent Zarah (she was a guest contributor to my blog in February, click here to read her post) a message. She suggested organizing a career talk for the girls, something that will motivate and encourage them to stay in school and get an education; then share the free sanitary pads after the career talk. Genius!!! Then I thought it will be nice to also give the girls a talk on how to properly care for themselves during menstruation and how to use sanitary pads. Double shot of genius!!!

SANITARY PAD IS THE NEW GOLD
see that girl with her mouth wide open, that was me at the supermarket staring at the prices of sanitary pads
Late last year and this year, I noticed that the price of sanitary pads had gone through the roof. This reinforced my desire to pick up my plan of distributing free sanitary pads to girls in public schools. A small pack of 7 or 8 pads is sold for 400 or 500naira. I recently bought a twin pack of 14 pads at 750naira (I was shouting 750 in the supermarket, the shop attendants were laughing at me). 750naira!!! That's a lot especially for young girls from low income families. Even for me, it's a lot and I have a job! 

COMMUNITY GRAMMAR SCHOOL, MOKOLA
Principal of Community Grammar School, Mokola, Princess Mrs Adelakun, welcoming me and my guests to her school


Community Grammar School, Mokola is a co-educational public school in Ibadan. I chose the school because I did my first and second i.e. 300L and 400L teaching practice here. I taught S.S.1 students English Language in 2008 and 2009. When I visited the school in January, I spoke with a Vice Principal, Mrs Ilupeju and then the Principal, Princess Adelakun and they welcomed my idea and were very glad I picked their girls for the program. We had a chat and fixed a date, March 28th, a day after the school's 2nd term exams. Guys, it became real for me, mehn! Like this is really happening, it is not just a thought in my head, rolling and rolling like 'chair barber'😁😁. As I left the school, I called my friend, Adeola, she's an event planner (check out her instagram @lemonytouch. Guys, she's excellent at what she does. If you have an event, just call her. I promise you'll come back and tell me thank you). We talked about my idea and when I wanted to pull my hair out on the phone, Adeola calmed me down.

FEHINTOLA OGUNYE INITIATIVE IS BORN

During one of our numerous calls while planning, Adeola asked me 'What is the name of your program?' I answered 'Health and Career talk'. She said 'yes I know that is what you want to do but what is the name of the program' . I told her I didn't know. But that evening in church, I saw a poster for a program and at the end in tiny text, I got the idea for what to call my program: FEHINTOLA OGUNYE INITIATIVE.

CAN WE HAVE FREE SANITARY PADS, PLEASE?
reps of Lady Care Sanitary pad coming through


reps distributing free sanitary pads to the girls
When Adeola and I were working on the budget for the program, a huge chunk of the funds was allocated to purchase of sanitary pads. Community Grammar School, Mokola has 317 girls in attendance and 204 girls have started menstruation. Remember that sanitary pad is the new gold. I decided to write 3 companies to request for donation of sanitary pads. I was scared they would decline my request but God made a way. SANKIN INDUSTRIES NIGERIA LIMITED, makers of Lady Care Sanitary pads said 'YES' to my request and made donations of sanitary pads, exercise books and pens to the program. They also sent their representatives to attend the program. Isn't that wonderful? Did I hear someone shout 'Praise the Lord!?'😁😁😁

SPEAKERS SPEAKERS

The health talk was on 'THE IMPORTANCE OF MENSTRUAL HYGIENE'. The only things I know about menstruation are what I was taught in Integrated Science J.S.S.1 and my monthly experiences. I wanted a doctor or a nurse to deliver a detailed health talk plus it gives more credibility to the information provided so I made some calls and Dr Esther Okoro volunteered. She works at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Abia State. She was so pleasant on the phone and the girls loved her presentation.
An infographics that summaries the health talk
Dr Esther Okoro delivering the health talk
Dr Esther and Ms Kelechi showing the girls proper use of sanitary pads
Q&A Session

Q & A Session
For the career talk, I invited 3 amazing female professionals to motivate and encourage the girls with their success stories in their respective professions.
Barrister Abiade Abiola, a lawyer and President of Human of Substance Empowerment Initiative, a non-governmental organisation focused on empowering women and youths in the society. Engr. Chima Ogundele, a registered civil and structural engineer who works with Etteh Aro & Partners, an infrastructural development company, she is also an executive member of the Nigeria Society of Engineers, Ibadan. Miss Adeola Sessi, event planner extraordinaire and CEO of Lemony Touch Events. Dr Esther Okoro also joined us for the career talk.
These women were so wonderful, I believe the girls had a wonderful time and learnt a lot.
Guest speakers R-L Miss Adeola Sessi, Engr Chima Ogundele, Me, Barrister Abiade Abiola,
Dr Esther Okoro, Ms Kelechi
WHEN FEAR TRIES TO STEAL YOUR TALENT
trying to calm my beating heart
Are you wondering why I didn't act on my plan last year? I got scared and anxious about how to get resources, which school to approach, who to invite as guest speakers and the like. Fear told me I was too broke and didn't look successful enough, it told me 'you don't own a car. Are you going to ride an okada (motorcycle) to a school to tell young girls they can be anything they want to be?' Fear asked me 'Why should any company donate sanitary pads to your program? Who are you?'

I listened to fear last year until God's word broke through and reminded me that he is greater than my fears and
I should trust him. It's easy to let fear and anxiety win and dictate how I should live and what I should do but that isn't the life I want, not for myself, my sisters, nieces and unborn baby girl (I want just one baby girl). So I channelled my fear and used it as a fuel to act on my plans and when I would feel discourage, I would remind myself 'Fehintola, God has got you!, recite Phil 4:6 and ask God for his peace.

LESSONS LEARNT
Guests with School management and teachers

  • Man is not an Island. We need help at every step. When I started making YouTube videos, I understood the need for help. Someone I can call to hold a camera for me or just go out with me so I don't feel self conscious. Planning this program just reinforced it for me. The song 'My helper ooo, my helper' has a new meaning for me.
  • Fear na bastard! I think that explains it.
  • When God gives an idea (a talent), he will make available what is needed to get it done
  • If I have a dream, I should be willing to personally invest my time and resources into executing it before looking for other people to invest their time and resources.
  • Always remember to tuck my tummy in when I'm going to take pictures. I love this yellow dress but mehn! my tummy is saying hi in all the picturesπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. Looks like a doughnut.


THANK YOUS

I thank God for the amazing people he sent to help me put this program together. Zarah, my sounding board over a year ago. My cousin, Semo, an amazing photographer (check him out on instagram @owlperture) came from Lagos to take pictures. All the guest speakers who honoured my invitation to speak to the girls. Tony and Dami who came to support me even though Adesire (their 7 weeks old baby) was a bit cranky after taking her immunisation shots. Funbi, my friend and colleague who also came to support me. My boss, Engr. Mbim, who told me 5 years ago and keeps reminding me to 'do one good thing to one person', My colleagues at work, Mr Biola, Pamela, Tosin, Ayooluwa and Kayode. The drivers, Mr Lasisi and Mr Taiye who didn't let me ride an okada to the event. Adeola and Rahman (my naija Bey and Jay) who attended the program even though their schedule is tight right now. Sankin Industries Nigeria Limited for their donations. The school management and girls of Community Grammar School for their warm welcome and receptive audience.

If  you want to support the next program, please send me an email fehintolaogunye@gmail.com or DM on Twitter @fehintolaogunye and Instagram @fehintolaogunye

xoxo...Fehintola 


10 comments

  1. Replies
    1. Deola well done to you too! You ladies are amazing. xx

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  2. Awesome! Was an amazing one. There should be more like it

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  3. Love.Love.Love! What an amazing and philanthropic thing to do dear. More power to you!
    Hilarious post too! Your dress is stunning. Please allow that tummy to be great����

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  4. Well done tola

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  5. Wonderful! This is important and it is such a vital and potentially life changing thing in a young girl's life

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    1. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I appreciate your kind words.

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  6. This is so inspiring. Well done Fehintola!

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