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My dignity restored

Christiana display her dignity Kits that is supplied by ActionAid

Preserving Women's Dignity in Emergencies

The August 14th Mudslide and flash floods affected womens dignityespecially withregards to taking care of thier cycle in a more dignified and respectable way and added to the problem further is the dire need for food, clothes and shelter.

I use ordinary cloth when my period came, which was unexpected, I think it’s due to the shock

Christiana Green, 26, a mother of 2, (a two-year-old and 5 months old children respectively) is one person whose business was destroyed. “I use to do some catering and then save some of the money to buy different female wares which I leave on credit to some of the women around” Christiana informs.  With the flash floods her house was destroyed and all her belongings together with her business was washed away. “I do not have a shop where I normally keep my stuff, I keep them in the house, so when the flood came everything  wiped away…I did not have time to think of the wares but to save the lives of my two children” Christiana laments.

Speaking to her on the very first day I met her, she was heartbroken, it took her time to get over herself before talking to me as we discuss, she constantly looks at her 5 months old chubby son who was sleeping peacefully amidst the chaos and ranting from the registration that was going on. “My heart is heavy, my husband is in hospital as he is damaged badly from a zinc “Christiana expressed.  Not resining to fate, she has to brave it up to go and register and come back and join me on the floor, as we talk she describe the speed at which everything happened. “I could not believe when I saw the amount of water, I have never seen water like that. I have seen floods but this one is different” Christiana informs.

The first two days at the camp I gathered Christiana lost her appetite for food, she was in a shock state as she continue to receive news of the present carnage that has engulfed the capital. “the news of over 400 people dead and over 600 missing gets me worried more and  more” Chris informs sadly.  Christina is happy that ActionAid is responding with food and other condiments in the camp, as this will help them have decent meal. “We are happy for ActionAid, we can have decent meal now” Christiana expressed.

In engaging her further, she told me about her personal hygiene that has been interrupted during this disaster and that she has to make do with what she has, she has to use cloth for her period whilst in the camp. “I use ordinary cloth when my period came, which was unexpected, I think it’s due to the shock” She explains.  Stories and testimonies like these prompted ActionAid to put in place dignity kits that was supplied to these camps, as we care to maintain the dignity of women and girls during crisis. Christiana’s fear about her dignity was put to rest“ I am happy that I cannot use cloth anymore to tend to my menses, thanks to ActionAid for the dignity kitsChristiana says.

Christiana poses with Dugnity Kits
Christiana displays her dignity.
Jonathan Bundu/Actionaid Sierra Leone
Jonathan Bundu