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Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu

by The Rahul Kotak Foundation
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Watching Fiona
Watching Fiona's Story Keenly

Last month we carried out the annual July workshops during which we had the opportunity to go to St. Vitalis Nang’a Primary School and have a discussion with about 120 girls from Class 7 and 8 during the Menstrual Hygiene Workshop. We had a very personal and constructive chat involving a question and answer session where the girls expressed their challenges of going to school during their periods such as not having access to pads, enough underwear, pain relief medication or enough food during their periods.  

We distributed 990 disposable pads that were donated by the Sisterhood Empowerment Group and 56 re-usable kits to the girls at the school ! More updates coming next month on re-usable kits, so stay tuned.

The responses we received from the students were astounding! One of the girls volunteered to provide a demonstration on how to use a disposable pad and another student elaborated on how to maintain the reusable pads such as washing them with cold water to prevent a stain forming and completely drying them out in the sun.

The second part of the workshop was the most exciting to the girls! We showed the movie Queen of Katwe to Classes 6, 7 and 8 using a projector onto a makeshift screen made out of a blackboard and white bed sheets. The movie is about a young Ugandan girl who fights her way to an international chess championship despite her financial circumstances. The movie was definitely well received by the girls; as the movie was playing the girls enthusiastically applauded every time Fiona (the star of the movie) won a chess match.

Towards the end of the workshop we had a chat with the girls on what they learnt from the movie. Some of the responses to the movie were: “Hard work always pays off,” “Don’t give up” and “I would like to start playing chess!”

New pads!
New pads!
Immersed in the movie :)
Immersed in the movie :)
Re-usable kits
Re-usable kits

Links:

Yet another feather in our cap!
Yet another feather in our cap!

Earlier this May, we had the opportunity to welcome one of GlobalGiving's field travelers, Isabelle Hall, to our projects in various localities in Kisumu including Dunga, Kondele and Nyalenda. We had a great time showing her some of the work we have been able to achieve as a result of the incredible support we have received from all our donors on GlobalGiving, not to forget the amazing support we have had from the GlobalGiving team. Isabelle also helped us put some final touches to our recently completed library; we can’t wait to share an update with you in June on our Main Project Give Hope to Kisumu's Underprivileged Children.

This was a great opportunity for us to connect with GlobalGiving and receive feedback on our projects. As a result, RKF is now a Site Visit Verified Organization; another esteemed badge we are honored to hold.

We also attended the GlobalGiviing Partner Workshop held by Isabelle that allowed us to learn more about GlobalGiving and network with peers from Kisumu that are already on the platform.

Final touches on the new library
Final touches on the new library

Links:

Students at St. Vitalis Nang
Students at St. Vitalis Nang'a Primary School

International Women's Day

On 8th March 2019, RKF participated in the International Women’s Day Campaign that was a part of the GlobalGiving GirlFund Campaign. And with your incredible support, we raised a total of $1,256 in less than 24 hours! We are absolutely overwhelmed and honored to be associated with such great cheerleaders for the girls of Kisumu. We can’t wait to take the RKF Sanitary Pads Program to even more girls and help them keep progressing through their education… as is their right!

Improving...

We’re listening to our community.

After our pilot program last year, we received feedback from the girls that a slightly larger kit would be more effective. We learnt that 4 pads were not enough; so we're partnering with PadMad to provide 7 pads to girls in rural schools. What makes this partnership special is that these pads are made using Kenyan cotton by Kenyan women. This creates a beautiful cycle of women empowering women!

When we spoke to the girls at Lutheran Special School in January, they gave us some very simple feedback to improve the program that is both efficient and cost-effective. They gave us a suggestion to provide a more complete “kit” by adding a small bucket and some clothes pegs (at an additional $1) that would make it incredibly easy for them to manage and maintain their re-usable kits. So we did it! All the girls at Lutheran Special School now have their own buckets and set of clothes pegs to manage their kits well.

Growing...

Another 20 girls at Busabakhwa Primary School are now a part of the RKF Sanitary Pads Program. Our friends at Kenyan Kids took 20 kits and had an incredible talk with the girls on Menstrual Health Management. An additional 11 girls at Lutheran Special School also received sanitary pad kits in March. We hope to reach an additional 50 girls in May once schools resume for the second academic term of 2019.

Partnering with PadMad
Partnering with PadMad
New Buckets and Clothes Pegs to complete the Kit
New Buckets and Clothes Pegs to complete the Kit
A student at Lutheran Special School
A student at Lutheran Special School
Thank You to all our Cheerleaders!
Thank You to all our Cheerleaders!

Links:

Student listening carefully during the workshop
Student listening carefully during the workshop

To kick off the new academic year in Kenya, RKF implemented the Sanitary Pads Program at Lutheran Special School in Kisumu. As a part of this, 21 girls received the AFRIPads Deluxe Menstrual Kit that will last them 12 months and ensure they can carry on with their school activities even when they are menstruating. Each kit contains 4 re-usable sanitary pads, a small bag and a Girl Talk Booklet.

The Senior Teacher of the school conducted a fun, hands-on workshop in Luo (the local dialect) that gave the girls an opportunity to learn through demonstration and ask any questions they had.

The Sanitary Pads Program was started to address the issue of poor attendance of girl students across various parts of Kenya due to lack of access to menstrual hygiene products. When we first visited the students of Lutheran Special School in late 2016, we were made aware of this issue and we hope this program will help address it. We look forward to receiving feedback from the girls and improving the Sanitary Pads program and further implementing various other programs.

After the success of the pilot program last year, we are really excited to scale this program to reach at least 200 girls in the first academic term of 2019. More update coming soon.

Practical demonstration by Senior Teacher
Practical demonstration by Senior Teacher
Reading the Girl Talk Booklet
Reading the Girl Talk Booklet
Celebrating the new pads
Celebrating the new pads
To new pads!
To new pads!

Links:

Soko Student installing Mobile Education Software
Soko Student installing Mobile Education Software

Since starting our work almost two and a half years ago, one of the biggest lessons we learnt was that making education accessible to all children was not simply about addressing the issues they faced while at school. While it is crucial to continue to make the classroom environment better and make books and learning material easily accessible (especially to those living in the slums and rural areas), it is also important to go beyond the classroom.

At Soko Primary School in Nyakach, we have been able to address a couple of such issues that go further than the classroom but make a big difference for the students.

Eneza Education

To help students study and revise better after school, we partnered with Eneza Education to run a pilot program using their mobile education platform Shupavu. All registered candidates for the upcoming KCPE exams received access to the mobile platform to help them revise and prepare for their exams in their spare time or whilst at home. The platform allows them to ask live questions to teachers via SMS and helps them brush up on any topics they may be having challeges with. Students also have access to past papers and practice questions with guidance on how to answer questions correctly.

COHESU

Through our partnership with a local NGO, Cohesu, we have been able to ensure that all the girls at Soko Primary School receive new school shoes at least twice a year. This helps reduce the risk of Jiggers and Bilharzia which are both prevalent in the Lakeside region. This also makes the morning walk to school a lot more comfortable and eases the financial burden on parents/guardians who may not have enough money to buy new school shoes.

New Shoes!
New Shoes!
And they
And they're on...
Soko Std. 8 Girls receiving T-Shirts
Soko Std. 8 Girls receiving T-Shirts
All girls of Soko also received books and pencils.
All girls of Soko also received books and pencils.
Ready to run in the new shoes
Ready to run in the new shoes

Links:

 

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Organization Information

The Rahul Kotak Foundation

Location: Kisumu, Kisumu County - Kenya
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @TheRKFoundation
Project Leader:
Mansi Kotak
Kisumu, Kisumu County Kenya
$4,633 raised of $15,000 goal
 
58 donations
$10,367 to go
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