Champion Her Right to an Education

by ZanaAfrica Foundation
Champion Her Right to an Education
Champion Her Right to an Education
Champion Her Right to an Education
Champion Her Right to an Education
Champion Her Right to an Education
Champion Her Right to an Education
Champion Her Right to an Education
Champion Her Right to an Education
Champion Her Right to an Education
Champion Her Right to an Education
MH Day school visit!
MH Day school visit!

Dear Friends,
Since our last report, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Kenya at the end of March and reconnect with our team. They are leading critical work on the ground to improve the menstrual and reproductive health of girls and the communities in which they live.

Our Kilifi-based colleagues conduct our school-based interventions where we are tackling real issues. In their community, the average age of girls' sexual debut is 14 years old; 30% of teen girls are pregnant; and 40% of new HIV infections are amongst youth age 15-24. Our work directly addresses these challenges. In February, our team began after-school programs in 10 new primary schools supporting over 3,600 beneficiaries with critical answers to their reproductive health questions to support their voice, choice, and personal agency in decision-making.

Through this program, we provide: 

  • Nia Teen, our comprehensive reproductive health magazine 
  • Disposable Nia brand sanitary pads
  • Cotton underpants
  • Sessions with mentors who offer safe spaces for girls (and boys!)

Parents of our beneficiaries have little knowledge of reproductive health due to low literacy levels, incomplete schooling, and other factors. They are not able to fully support their children during puberty. When I was there, I heard directly from parents about how they want to better support their teenagers. To improve reproductive health knowledge across generations, we will soon begin reproductive health information sessions with parents. We expect 500-1000 parents to attend these school-wide sessions over the next two years.

Last, our team in Kilifi is supporting the expansion of our interventions across Kenya. In January, we began replicating our program with 40 schools in Western Kenya through World Vision and the Ministry of Education! With high demand for our solutions, this year is critical for us to train additional mentors and partners to meet the rising requests for our services.  We are so excited about the holistic impact we are helping to advance. We look forward to keeping you updated throughout the coming months.  Thank you for your support - we truly could not do this work without you.

May was also very exciting for us at ZanaAfrica. Specifically, this past Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) on May 28 was one for the books! And without your support, none of it would have been possible.
On the ground in Kilifi, our team visited Kibarani Primary School for the Deaf where no other organization had taken the initiative to tackle taboo topics like menstruation before. Beyond breaking taboos, there was a demonstration on how to use and dispose a disposable pad—and we also provided pads to all girls in attendance.  
In Kajiado County, our team distributed nearly 1,000 sanitary pads and spoke about the importance of menstrual and reproductive health education as a vehicle to improve the health, safety, and wellbeing of adolescent girls. As a result of our talk, Kajiado County’s first lady, Edna Lenku, advocated for infrastructure improvements so that schools can fully support menstrual health management and related health education.  
But wait, there is more! We also raised nearly $4,261 - enough to support 852 girls each with 4 pairs of new cotton underpants! This gift truly helps marginalized girls confidently and comfortably manage their periods without limits. To all of you who contributed, thank you!

Finally, we joined advocates from around the world to attend The Women Deliver 2019 Conference on June 3-6 in Vancouver, Canada. This was the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the wellbeing of girls and women and we’re so thrilled to have been a part of it! Our Founder, Megan Mukuria, spoke at Building Girls' Agency through School-Based Programs, a panel discussion, where she discussed our work and impact in Kenya. 

As you can see if has been a very busy, yet, exciting few months and we are continually inspired by your support! Thank you for being a part of this movement, I’m so excited to share even more in the coming months.


With gratitude,

Alison Nakamura Netter

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From our International Women's Day campaign!
From our International Women's Day campaign!

Dear Friends,

We’ve settled into the New Year and have reviewed our 2018 impact. Thanks to your generosity and belief in our work, 2018 was our most momentous year yet.

"Thank you" can't fully express our gratitude, but we'll say it again from the bottom of our hearts: THANK YOU!

In this new year, your ongoing commitment will help ZanaAfrica:

  • Expand access to sanitary pads and reproductive health education among adolescent girls with a specific focus on reaching girls in Kilifi, Kenya where over 20% between the age of 15-19 have begun child bearing and more than half do not attend high school.
  • Engage male champions to share our rights-based menstrual, sexual, and reproductive health education with adolescent boys.
  • Scale our interventions through strategic partnerships to ensure that even more girls have the tools they need to stand up for their bodies and their rights.
  • Globally disseminate the final results from The Nia Project, our two year seminal research study that has tested the impact of our interventions on approximately 4,000 girls. 

But wait, there is more!

I am thrilled to announce that I have been named Executive Director of ZanaAfrica Foundation as of February 2019. As Executive Director, I will continue to lead our fundraising and communications efforts, in addition to officially overseeing the overall management of our US-based Foundation. In this role, I will work with our Board of Directors to grow our fundraising base, enhance our brand communications activities, and deepen our advocacy efforts. As Founder, Megan Mukura will continue to lead ZanaAfrica’s strategic vision, thought leadership, and direct programs from Kenya. Together, we will work hand-in-hand with our Board to ensure continued progress for girls in Kenya and the advancement of gender equality globally.

Finally, in late 2018, we formalized a partnership with the Pvblic Foundationand Entrée Health, a leading advertising agency, to create an entirely pro-bono ad campaign for International Women’s Day 2019 (March 8th) to raise awareness of the challenges facing girls in Kenya and to drive support for our work. This incredible advocacy opportunity included pro-bono advertising placements through digital billboards in Times Square, Digital Billboards in 40 markets across the US, and a social media advertising campaign! We were and still are so thrilled about this campaign’s public awareness and additional support for our work.There are a few photos attached to this report that accompanied this campaign – check it out!

Our work is backed by the simple, yet powerful belief that the combination of rights-based sexual and reproductive health education and sanitary pads is one of the smallest hinges to unlock girls’ potential and break cycles of poverty.  

We are continuously strengthened by your active belief in our mission and look forward to deepening our impact with you in the year ahead! 


With excitement and thanks,

Alison Nakamura Netter and the ZanaAfrica team

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Dear Friend,
As we approach the New Year, we are thrilled to share ZanaAfrica’s 2018 impact report with you.

We hope it sheds light on how you have helped to keep girls in Kenya healthy, safe, and equipped with the information they need to raise their voices and exercise their rights.
Will you consider increasing your support for ZanaAfrica today by making an additional tax-deductible donation to fund our critical programs in 2019?
We could not do any of our work without your support. Thank you for believing in our mission and for championing the rights and needs of girls. 

Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!

With sincere gratitude,

Alison & the entire ZanaAfrica Team

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Dear Friends,
Big news! International Day of the Girl (IDG) is less than two weeks away! 
Since 2012, the UN has marked October 11th as IDG to shine a light on the challenges girls face, while promoting girls' empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.  

But we don't think one day is enough! And so, we are already celebrating IDG by raising funds and awareness to support our critical work in Kenya. 

We invite you to partner with us by going above and beyond to maximize your impact: just $50 can support a girl with sanitary pads, underwear, reproductive health education, and mentors for an entire year!

We're so thankful for your continued support and are counting on you to make this #IDG2018 especially impactful. Will you join us? The girls we serve are depending on it. 

Thankful for you,


P.S. ICYMI we have some exciting features to share with you:

  1. Check out this incredible Forbes profile on ZanaAfrica’s Founder, Megan Mukuria, on how our work began and where we’re headed.
  2. Now This did a spectacular feature on our journey to help girls safely navigate adolescence and claim the futures they want.
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Panelists at May 14th event in NYC
Panelists at May 14th event in NYC

Dear Friends, 

We can’t thank you enough for your ongoing support and are so excited to share some exciting updates! Our team spent this Spring traveling around the world to join hands with friends, old and new, in support of the global menstrual movement.

ZanaAfrica’s Founder, Megan Mukuria, touched down in Oxford, England in April for The 15th Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, which focused on the Power of Proximity to catalyze innovators in pursuit of large-scale social change. There, she connected with partners and forged new potential partnerships including scaling our content to Ethiopia. 

The Nia Project’s lead, Alfred Muli, traveled to Stockholm, Sweden for The Case for Her Summit, where he presented the data-driven evidence this Project is producing on the impact that pads and reproductive health education have on girls’ health, well-being, and education.

Naddya Adhiambo Oluoch-Olunya, Nia Teen Magazine's Senior Illustrator, presented at the Social and Behavior Change Communication Summit in Bali, Indonesia. She showcased Nia Teen's innovative content development process, and how we use storytelling to influence behavior change among adolescent girls.

And my colleague Angela Lagat, our Chief Brand Marketing Officer, and I joined the World Bank in Washington, D.C.for a roundtable discussion on ZanaAfrica’s critical interventions that unlock girls’ potential and break cycles of poverty.

Later into the spring on May 14th, we came together in New York City to celebrate our 10-year anniversary with a compelling discussion on the importance of menstrual health, equity, and its centrality to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. We are so grateful to our Board Chair, Melinda Wolfe, for hosting such a special event and to our extraordinary panelists, Marni Sommer of Columbia University, Gerda Larsson of The Case For Her, and our incredible moderator Kathy LeMay of Raising Change, for sharing their time and thought leadership with us. Watch the full event here!

But wait, there is more! On Menstrual Hygiene Day (May 28th), we announced that we'll receive proceeds from Cora and the Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign's "Equality, Period" tee!  An estimated 300 million girls and women around the world lack access to period products. Shop now to get your tee today and to help us continue our work toward #periodequality! 

Period equity is critical to achieving gender equity. We are deeply heartened by your ongoing commitment to this movement to ensure that girls have the tools they need to raise their voices and reclaim their health, safety, and dignity. Our travels and our friends reminded us of the important voice we continue to have in support of this global movement, and we invite you to help us strengthen our global advocacy efforts by continuing your support today! 

Thank you friends, 


Angela and I at World Bank Group
Angela and I at World Bank Group
Equality, Period. T-shirt!
Equality, Period. T-shirt!
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Organization Information

ZanaAfrica Foundation

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Twitter: @ZanaAfrica
Project Leader:
Alison Nakamura Netter
New York, NY United States

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