Saturday, 25 July 2015

If a girl is experiencing puberty

Video done by Sasha via St. George International School, Cologne

Written by Mary Mwema,

As the girl turns 10, all over the world, her life is surely about to change.

Depending on where she lives, she will be treated differently but mostly, all girls will pass through the same thing. One thing is sure, life is life, whether you are born in the suburb of New York or in the jungle of Nepal, the needs are the same, expectations are also the same.

Girls, wherever you are, someone somewhere on this planet is going through what you are going through. The difference is how aware are you of yourself, your environment, your right, your duties, your future and the opportunities around you.

For sure by the time you are 11, 12 you know very little about what awaits you.
In these articles we are going to talk about what happens during puberty.


I am 10, 12, hurray! Happy birthday, What a wonderful day, the small girl is now almost a teenager.

Little did she know that major changes are about to happen.

To start with her body; She notices something is popping on her chest, woaaah!. Her friends too, they tease each other, maybe laugh about it, but for some it is devastating and they feel ashamed so they start to hide their growing chest. They put on heavy clothes to do so and can even withdraw from others especially if they are the first to develop breasts among their peers.

The good news is, all girls go through this and it is nothing to be ashamed of. It is the first most beautiful thing happening to you, that chest has to develop because in you there is a woman and a woman is precious. So be happy, love it.


Then comes the period, also known as menstruation! What is that word again? Have you ever heard of it before? Shhhh, it is top secret, only the big girls talk about my little girl, we are going to tell you what it is so that you don't freak out when it happens. Shall we all go through it then?

Yes, if you are a girl (woman) there is no other way to it. We are created to carry future generation inside of us before it is born.

For that they must be preparation, so we have in our womb a kind of oven, it is meant to carry a baby when we are old enough to support it.

Every month, you will experience a flow of blood coming out from your private part; it comes out without your help. For urine, you feel the pressure and can go to toilet but this one comes out by itself. A normal period lasts 3 to 7 days. For some you'll feel nauseous, weak, uncomfortable and in some cases even to the point of vomiting and stomach cramps. I admit it is no fun but it is just one of the amazing things a woman's body does.

Where is all that blood from? In easy word, as the womb is preparing to receive a baby, if there is no baby, the womb surface will die just as dead skin on our body and peels off. The cycle will continue until we reach menopause (age of not being able to have children) which is at about 45 50 years old.

What to do?

1. If you have a bigger person around preferably mother or sister, don't be shy to tell them.

2. Wear a pad or wool in your pants to avoid messing yourself. Change the sanitary wear once it is full. Dispose of it appropriately (it cannot be flushed).

3. Keep clean at all time, bath at least twice a day and change whenever you feel wet.

4. Be discrete, not everyone should notice that you are having your period by your countenance and your cleanliness.

5. check you bedding to be sure that they are not stained if yes, clean the spot right away.

6. Always check the bathroom, toilet to be sure you have left it clean for the next person.
The secret is to keep clean at all times. It will help you avoid infections, bad odor or embarrassment...

Before you know it, you'll be used to it. So don't feel sad.


The small girl’s skin is changing too, becoming smooth, but her face oh oh!, pimples. Disaster, my face, what do I do?

Don't worry my friend, they are not there to stay, they will disappear the same way they came, it is just a matter of time. Just find a simple soap which will not irritate your skin, avoid fatty foods and body lotion on your face. Use baby powder yourself and eventually, you will be fine.


Body shape, hum! The small girl is becoming a lady, The hips are becoming large, for some it happens earlier than others it doesn't matter, we are all getting there.

Now my dear, you have seen how many changes have happened to your body alone, but in all this, Emotions.

While the body is changing, the girl will experience a lot of emotional changes. She is now aware of the effect of her presence among other people. She wants to have particular friends and wants to know if she is loved, noticed and appreciated. This is a serious time where she has to gain her confidence. Love herself and avoid copying others. We are all beautiful though different. Just keep clean, be presentable, wear acceptably and don’t mind the teasers and bullies.

We wish you a very joyful and happy transition from childhood to adulthood. Knowledge is power.

For more If A Girl videos, click here.

Read more about Menstrual Hygiene here by Tahiya


Mary Mwema is an entrepreneur, wife, motivational speaker and mother who has raised six children (five girls) and Secretary of SAFIGI Outreach Foundation. She uses her experience as a woman to empower girls and give sound counsel.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

If a girl is having emotional problems

By Nour Azhari  via  UN Volunteers

As you know we all have emotions. We can feel anger towards someone or some event that hurt us, happiness because of something good that happened, we sometimes feel  disgusted, disappointed,  stressed by something or even attracted by someone. Every day we experience so many of those emotions.

Since emotions are something that everyone experiences, how do you know if you  have an emotional problem? I will give you some tips

First of all it is important to understand that every choice a human makes is partly influenced by his emotions but the problem arises when your emotions completely take over your life and you are not anymore fully in control of your actions .

The first step in feeling better is to acknowledge that you have a problem.  Some signs of emotional instability include: mood shifts , feeling anxious suddenly for no rational reason. Also, if your emotions are so strong that they lead you to harm others around you or even yourself this could be a sign. 

Furthermore if you are depressed all the time and you feel you cannot do anything about it this should also be a warning sign for you .  In general it is when your emotions start ruling your life . This could be through depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, suicidal thoughts , schizophrenia etc..

Once you take full consciousness of your problem and truly decide to deal with it I promise you that the job is half done.


The second step is to try to find out what is the cause of your emotional problem. It might be some tragic event that affected you a lot, or it might be someone that hurt you on purpose or even by accident, and it also might be that you did not get the love and attention you needed.

After doing that, you should work on separating yourself from the cause of your problem. For example if someone is causing those emotions in you should do your best to become independent from that person.

The following step is to avoid blaming other people for your emotional problems. It might be the case that these people are responsible for your problems but the only thing you can do that will make you feel better is to work on yourself. Expecting certain actions or behaviors from other people will only bring you frustration and it does not provide a long term solution

To help you get better you should try to see a therapist or you could even attend support groups depending on the setting you are more comfortable with.

Finally, apart from the professional help you might need, there are some things you can work on alone that will help you lead a more emotionally stable life. Try to surround yourself by people who truly care about you. If you cannot find a good surrounding one way to compensate would be to make time for an activity that you really enjoy . 

Another thing you will definitely benefit from is to do things that positively impact others. This might seem surprising but doing that actually helps build your self esteem a lot.

For more If A Girl videos, click here.

About Nour

Nour Azhari is a student in Biology. She is interested in Hospital Management, Neurology and Psychology. 

Saturday, 11 July 2015

If a girl wants to go backpacking

By Bruna Fairas via UN Volunteers

To go backpacking as a female can be daunting, but it should not be! Travelling on your own can be an amazing experience. After all, you are your own boss, and the only person you need to worry about is yourself. In order to help keep you calm and encourage you, I going to give some tips and answers to some possible questions you may have before deciding to go on the road!

The advantages to go backpacking are a way worth! You will feel more self-confident, independent, and self-reliant. You will learn to challenge yourself and have a go at things, where before you would have been scared of failing and not even tried. You will increase your self-esteem, through knowing what you will have achieved - which should give every girl a sense of pride!

So, first of all, don’t be nervous.  Plan properly and stay informed. There are millions of women who have backpacked around the world, who have done it safely, successfully and had fun.

The secret is to plan effectively, you need to know exactly where you are going. Ask yourself, Is it a safe place, do they respect women and do women have rights there, can a woman walk alone, have other backpackers gone there before and what do they say about it? Does the location have internet, good roads and easy means of communication?

If you start to have that odd nervous moment, which is natural, don’t worry! You can backpack alone but you don’t have to be alone. There are tour agencies that offer backpacking experiences so this way, you will know where to go and you will have someone responsible for you.

You can also meet other backpackers on the way but be careful to not reveal too much personal information or follow anyone you meet to strange places for safety precautions. Follow your gut feeling and if you feel something isn’t right, just stay away. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you are in a tight situation. Blend in with your environment and plan your routes beforehand.

In your travel package include personal safety items such as a blanket, an alarm, firecracker, a water flask, a radio telephone, antibiotics, batteries, whistle, insect repellant, photocopy of your passport, ticket and travelers cheque. Also keep your backpack padlocked, and do not leave it unattended at any time.

Use your instincts. In addition, remember your instincts are not at their sharpest at 3am when drunk, so try not to get too drunk and avoid dodgy situations. You know how to keep safe at home so do the same things.

Most important of all, have travel insurance, have enough money in the currency of where you are travelling too, always keep a dry snack with you whether you will need it or not, and have someone check up on you every time you reach a new destination to make sure you got where you’re going. It all comes down to planning ahead.
On you trip, follow these four super tips:

1.    Travel is hard work so do a hospital check up to make sure you are physically fit. And do not be too hard on yourself while on the road. Rest when you can.

2.    Make the most of your trip. Take a camera, document this beautiful experience. Don't be limited by being a female traveler. You can do anything you want to but do not disrespect the law.

3.    Try to blend in with your environment. Be friendly and open... but not too much so - take your time getting to know people, until you are certain you can trust them. Try not to act like a tourist because this can lead to scammers or ‘tourist prices.’ For a local experience, try to appear local. Learn basics of the language if you must.

4.    Do the trip your way. Decide how long you want to travel and where. Do not let anyone tell you what makes a worthwhile trip, they are all worthwhile! It's your trip, no one else's so enjoy it.

Hope these tips will be able to help you on your journey. Be safe.

For more videos, click here.

For more about Bruna Farias and her adventures, click here.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

If A Girl doesn't feel beautiful - Anna's Story

By Valery Nemykina via UN Volunteers

Anna is a woman from Ukraine who has been living with Cerebral Palsy, a condition that left her with 14 scars and with one leg shorter than the other. In this video, our UN Volunteer Valery asked her about her perception of beauty, this is what she had to say. 


Beauty is not only our physical condition, but also our emotional and mental state, and charm. Our beauty shows when we communicate. All our feelings are in our minds and hearts, so the inner beauty is what counts.

There are stereotyped canons of beauty which are standard in todays world but this does not mean only those who fit the stereotype are pretty. These are all just common standards. Being different is much more important and interesting than complying to common notions. There are more important things, such as health for example. People can be beautiful despite their physical condition.

Be aware of who you are and avoid envy, anger or resentment toward what you look like. Aim to be a joyful and positive person. This inspires others and will make other people happy to talk with you as people are attracted to positivity.

When a person becomes magnificent inside, it captures people.

Anna says growing up she felt shy like any other girl but has never let her physical condition affect her physical perception. She is in love, she has a son and she believes inner beauty. She accepts herself and has learnt to give love to others.
For more If A Girl videos, click here.

For more on the video creator Valery, click here.