Sheema Akhter is the middle child of her father Md Saidur Rahman and mother Amina Begum. They live in Gannarpar village of Gangachara Union in Rangpur district. Her father is a farmer who has a small piece of land to cultivate and sometimes leases others lands too to earn their livelihood. Hers is a typical village family in the rural Bangladesh.
Sheema is a student of grade X in Gangachara Model School. This school is covered by the interventions of JANO* project where they learn about many things related to their health and nutrition.
In the initial stages of Sheema’s journey towards becoming a woman from a girl, she was rather shy and did not consult her mother or older sister about her periods. Instead, she shared this with her friend who advised her to use cloths to manage her periods. However this was problematic for Sheema as she started having skin problems for using cloths during her periods.
When she became an adolescent member of Community Support Group under JANO project, she was connected to community clinics in the region and with the help of Community Volunteer, she once visited a clinic where she received proper consultation about period management. Not just about using sanitary napkins, but also about maintaining a nutritious food habit that will ensure her good health in this tender time. She also learned the importance of taking iron and folic supplements and collects them routinely from the community clinic. As she started following these practices, her skin problems began to fade and she began seeing positive results of maintaining hygienic menstruation practices. Because this knowledge changed her life; Sheema now shares her knowledge and encourages other young girls in her community to follow these practices as well.
"I am more aware about personal hygiene now and I now know that this practice keeps me safe from diseases. This is why I advise other young girls in my community to stay clean and safe.” Shared Sheema.
*Funded by the European Commission and Austrian Development Agency and implemented by CARE Bangladesh, Joint Action for Nutrition Outcome (JANO) replicates proven best practices, and takes to scale innovative local governance models for better nutrition outcome. The project works with the Government of Bangladesh at the regional and local levels, to support the effective implementation of the National Plan of Action for Nutrition 2 (NPAN-2). The project works at District, Upazila and Union levels as well as with multi-sector including public sector, private sector and civil society organizations; building their capacity for better planning, budgeting of nutritional program, and to provide effective oversight in its implementation.