By Seble, Grade 6 student.

My name is Seble from Machkle Woreda, East Gojjam, Amhara Region, Ethiopia.

Tuesday is our nutrition day in our school, or as we call it, “WIFAS Day.” That stands for Weekly Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation. On this day, first thing in the morning, we discuss health and nutrition and take our IFA supplements. We are taught the importance of good nutrition during adolescence, which impacts me because of the age I am now.

Last year, when I was in grade 5, I started taking WIFAS every Tuesday. I am taught and believe that good nutrition and WIFAS help me to be happy and strong during class and when I study. I also have energy when I support my mother with family chores, even during menstruation.

Female student leans over her homework sitting at a table surrounded by plants in Ethiopia

I am a motivator in our girls’ club. As part of the club, I meet with my friends – both boys and girls – every two weeks to learn about different issues that are related to our health and nutrition. We talk about different things, like why getting your period in adolescence is important, how iron and folic acid are key nutrients that the body needs to grow and to be healthy, and which foods have them. Iron and folic acid can be obtained from foods and from supplements such as WIFAS.

I am extremely pleased that my teachers are always available and willingly share their knowledge and experience during every session in our club. They are also friendly. My friends and I can openly discuss anything important, including if we’re having period problems. They taught us menstruation is normal, natural and a sign of our maturity. Since my family and teachers encourage and support me during my period, I am not absent from class when it’s my time of the month. I haven’t missed a single class last year and I am looking forward to the new school year starting October 11th.

“My dream is to succeed in my education, join university and become a doctor. I want to be known as Dr. Seble, a female obstetrician from Machkle Woreda.”

In this academic year, I plan to keep motivating my friends in school to be proud, positively support each other in our studies, take WIFAS regularly and encourage each other not to be absent from class anytime – even when it’s their time of the month. I try to motivate them in this way because I am proud. I am a girl who was promoted to grade 6 and was third in a class of 50 students.

I believe me and my friends will continue getting better nutrition, including WIFAS, from our school, teachers and families. Getting this support will help prevent problems associated with anaemia. We will grow and fulfil our dreams.

My dream is to succeed in my education, join university and become a doctor. I want to be known as Dr. Seble, a female obstetrician from Machkle Woreda.

Nutrition International works closely with governments around the world to help adolescent girls receive the micronutrients and nutrition education they need to thrive. In Ethiopia, we provide adolescent girls with WIFAS and boys and girls with nutrition education to combat anaemia. Read more about our work in Ethiopia.