The 2022 menstrual health day saw me embark on an exploratory journey into the unique world of girls with hearing and speaking impairments.
I got to the School for the Deaf, Kuje, Abuja, quite early, preparatory to the event we are hosting. So I had to join in to arrange the hall with some boys from the school.
But instead of lifting the heavy metal tables to make way, in my own estimation, the boys prefers to drag the tables, instantly belching out massive and unbearable noise. I intuitively shouted at the boys to stop, as it was really unbearable. But they seems, at that moment, to be ‘catching their cruise’, as they appeared to have dragged the table with more intent, with no-one paying attention to my predicament.
In bewilderment, it dawned on me how disconnected or perhaps insensitive I have been. The funny thing was that they weren’t even aware of my troubles nor my orders. And I realised that even though we are physically present in the hall together, we are actually in a different world.
At that moment, I was made to appreciate what I have. We are wont to take so many things for granted without appreciating what we have.
I did not pity them because what they required wasn’t my pity.
And, as the girls trooped in, I was welcoming them with more respect and obvious understanding of the peculiar world they live in, especially as regards their menstrual health.
They are a marginalized group who rarely have access to the many available interventions on menstrual health in terms of education or the resources that matters, unlike their peers without disability.
It was why I am happy that AHF sees the need to do this as I hope we will be able to draw the needed attention to them and secure some level of support for their peculiarities.
It is a totally different and challenging experience being unable to hear nor speak while expected to thrive in a system with little consideration for citizens who are different and special.
Steve Aborisade, is the Marketing/Communication Manager at AHF, an advocate as well as a social analyst.