Research shows, adolescent girls from disadvantaged backgrounds, lose out on 288 lessons a year, due to lack of materials to manage their menstrual cycle. This program involves the provision of sanitary towels to 118 girls, 52 girls from Kasimba Primary School and 66 girls from Nyatwere Primary School. Before the program began, we noticed that the adolescent girls had limited access to safe, affordable and convenient methods for dealing with menstruation. The girls missed 3-5 days of school every month during their monthly periods due to lack of sanitary towels. Any girl without access to sanitary towels feels embarrassed, unhygienic and uncomfortable. She also loses self-esteem and that the confidence to interact with her classmates or with teachers in the classroom. This clearly explains why they would miss school during this time of the month.
The major cause of all these was lack of financial resources to afford a packet of sanitary towel every month. Most of them were forced to use unhygienic clothing materials to keep dry during their menses, a situation that on many occasions causes embarrassment to them as the materials are leaky and so to avoid such situations, the girls would avoid school. After all the above observations, we saw it as a need to initiate this program and so far it has been able to assist 118 girls from two different Primary schools. 52 girls are from Kasimba Primary school and 66 girls are from Nyatwere primary school
The joy of every girl is to be able to experience comfort and confidence during her menstrual period. The above picture says it all as each of the 66 girls of Nyatwere primary school received a packet of sanitary towel. This gives them Hope and assurance that their Education will not be affected. The girls no longer miss school because they are now able to receive these packets of sanitary towels.
Kasimba girls and the Nyatwere girls expressing their joy after each receiving a packet of sanitary towel.
This program has benefited these girls in so many ways. This includes;
- The girls no longer miss school during their menstrual period.
- The girls have reported an improved ability to concentrate in class, higher confidence levels and increased participation in a range of everyday activities during their menstrual period.
- Negative experiences related to soiling and embarrassment has declined.
- Improved hygiene because earlier they would end up using dirty clothes and other unhygienic methods.
- The girls are also more educated about the menstrual cycle process, the things to do during this period and those that that they should avoid. This came as a result of mentorship they receive before being handed the sanitary towels.
- The girl child Education is no longer affected but has immensely improved.
Each Sanitary towel cost Ksh.55.