Hope this finds you well, on November 28th last year the project managed to support about 113 girls from Nyangena D.O.K Primary school with sanitary pads. This is the same school that during that hygiene training had been done to all the pupils on October last year.
Many girls in the upper classes of the primary school, often miss their classes during their periods due to the fact that they cannot afford sanitary pads, and feel ashamed of going to schools. Being a rural school and pupils come from poor households, the provision of sanitary towels is not a priority for the parents and in order to curb the issue, girls have no option but to use the tradition equivalent of sanitary towels which is medically harmfull and does not control the menstrual flow. More than often girls resort not to come to school during the period they are experiencing their menstruals. The government of Kenya acknowledges this to be a problem but has not yet provided a lasting solution to the lack of sanitary pads to girls especially in rural areas.
The project which is aimed at ensuring that girls in Kenya learn has been able to call on donors to support hygiene and sanitation in schools with particular focus to the girl child. Your contributions has over the years enabled us to provide sanitary pads to girls in schools in Kenya. Although this is not having a wider impact nationally but we are glad that the few who have received are able to continue with their education without fear of ridicule from boys,without having to absent classes, and a sense of belonging.
Two days prior of the visiting of Nyangena Primary school for the delivery of sanitary towels, the Project Assistant informed the school’s head teacher of the visit and the purpose of and requested for preparation and availability of the adolescent girls. On the material day the cartons containing the sanitary towels were loaded into the project vehicle as per the previous activities done for girls in other schools but with caution to add one more carton so as to cater for any increase in the number of girls. Upon arrival at the school, we held a brief meeting with the head teacher and thereafter the we were led by a female teacher to the class were the girls were assembled. Being a sensitive issue our female collegues took charge of this activity; take the girls through a brief guidance and counselling session and demonstration on the good use of the sanitary towels and provision of sanitary towels. A total of 113 girls received the sanitary pads and trained on the use, these were all the girls from Standar 4 to Standard 8 ( all adolescents).For hygiene purposes, the girls were advised to use at least 1-3 sanitary pads (depending on flow) per day at the beginning of their monthly period. Each girl was given on package of 8 sanitary pads meaning they will last for 3-5 days.
The teachers at the school attributed to 90% of girls absenteeism to lack of sanitary pads, girls interviewed also acknowledged that they do miss classes during their menstural cycle and were very grateful for the sanitary towels.
" We can't take the ridicules especially from boys when we are in menstrual cycle, they always know when they see blood on our skirts and we cant prevent it because we do not have sanitary towels. After this me and my friends will always come to school and learn as boys do without any fear" Esther Bosire - 14 years old pupils.
After the provision of the sanitary pads the headteacher called for a whole school meeting where all the pupils were in attendance, the boys especially were warned on ridiculing girls and other immoral behaivors towards girls during their menstrual cycle, toward the effect of the warning boys were told that displinary action would be taken including suspensions and explusions from school if found to ridicule and mock girls. We also talked to the pupils on the importance of treating one another equally and learing peacefully. The activity was very successfully conducted. In one instance old girls ( previous pupils from the school) from the community came dressed in school uniforms to receive the sanitary pads, luckily the extra box of sanitary pads catered for them.
Health and Water Foundation (HWF) during this period conducted Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training (PHAST) in Nyangena D.O.K primary school, girls in this school have been benefiting from this project but insufficient funds that has occurred recently has forced our organization to engage in a wider approach activity that reach the girls while at the same time reaching all the pupils in the school. The training program targeted pupils in the school both boys and girls.
The pupils were trained on handwashing,safe hygiene and practices.This was done by the District Health Officer with Health and Water Foundation staff. About 450 pupils were reached during this activity.By the end of the activity all the pupils in the school had basic knowledge on proper hygiene standards and practices.
We thank you for your continued effort towards ensuring that girls learn.
The project so far has had an impact on girls in the project area particularly in Kisii District.The school that have been supported are showing increasing attendance and retention of girls than previously before the start of this project.
During this period due to lack of funds disbursed we have not been able to continue the support we had already started in Nyangena D.O.K primary school of ensuring that we enroll 10 disadvantaged girls each year. The previous disbursements had enabled 7 girls to enrol and we had planned to enroll 3 more girls into primary school by the end of this year and support them.
We kindly ask for your contributions in order to continue this project.
I take this opportunity to thank you once again for your endless contributions, our organization during this period ( February and March) has been able to enroll 4 more orphans to primary schools, despite primary school in Kenya being provided for free still quite a good number of children are not enrolled and their still high number of drop-outs of children as it was before the introduction of FPE ( free primary education) 7 years ago. Low enrollment and drop out rate has been attributed to mostly lack of learning materials, over-congestion in schools, lack of proper learning facilities.
Our organization has conducted studies and found out that mostly girls especially the adolescent do not attend class regularly due to menstruation and lack of sanitary towels, lack of uniforms and proper wear is another factor that also diminish the girls moral to learning, lack of learning materials is another factor. With this findings we resorted with your help to improve the learning standards and enroll more girls in schools especially the marginalised in Kenya with focus in the Lake Victoria region where the HIV/AIDS prevalent rate is high and also the number of orphans whose parents succumbed to HIV/AIDS.
At the start of the year we set a goal of sending more than 10 girls to school this year and supporting them ( with learning materials,uniforms, social visits and advice whenever necessary - basically being their godmother) till they finish their primary education, through your support we managed to take 3 girls to school, during this period ( February and March) we have taken 4 other HIV/AIDS orphans girls to school and provided them with new school uniforms and learning materials. Two of the girls had dropped out of the school to fend for their siblings after their death of their mother, two others had also dropped out of school and gone to Kisii town ( nearest urban centre) to work illegally (due to their age) as househelpers. The headteacher of the school ( Nyangena D.O.K Primary school) the 4 girls attended informed us of the drop-out girls and through their relatives in the community we were able to locate them and talk them to return to school.
As of now we have taken 7 girls back to school since the start of this year (2012) already remaining with 3 more in order to meet our set goal of the year. Once we meet the target we will set another one and send even more marginalized girls to schools. I will be updating you regularly on the progress of this project. Thank you
Happy new year, On behalf of the supported girls in Kisii and the organization get their warmest greetings and thanks, dear ones we really appreciate the contribution that you have contributed during the last year that really empowered the
girls.So far the 252 $ contribution received has already catered for 3 girls whom we choose as the most unfortunate orphans in need of help. 3 girls namely; Vivian Momanyi 9 years, Edna Moraa 12 years and Christine Kibagendi 12 years are now successfully enrolled in Kiangoso Primary School.They have also been provide with supporting material such as 5 exercise books and 3 pens each for the children.
With your continued support we hope and expect that by the end of this year we will be able to take 10+ orphans to enroll and also be able to provide them will school uniforms.
On behalf of Vivian, Edna, Edna and others we wish you a happy new year.
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