On May 28, 2022, the Riley Orton Foundation celebrated the work carried out all year round to promote good menstrual health and hygiene, empowering marginalized girls living in rural areas.
Periods should not be something that keeps girls from living their life and keeping them out of class.
On this special day, we gave free sanitary pads to about 60 girls, and we are taking another step forward by bringing boys on board by adding an education element to the day.
The free pads relieve a massive financial burden on the girls and empowers them to continue to come to school.
Riley Orton is committed to raising awareness and educating both boys and girls about menstruation and sexual and reproductive health, so they can learn how to normalize menstruation and end period stigma.
We are excited to welcome new members to our newsletter. With all the new people interested and with new projects on the horizon, it is amazing to see the growth and impact of the foundation.
This month we want to highlight the Riley Orton Foundation (ROF), located in the slums of Kisumu, Kenya, which have been a long-term partner of Touch Foundation. David, the founder of ROF, and his team are tenacious in their efforts and creative in their ideas to make a positive impact on girls' lives.
The ROF’s mission is to alleviate generational poverty amongst the most disadvantaged and marginalized rural girls. They deliver holistic programming focused on education, health & wellness, economic empowerment, and life skills training in order to provide rural girls and their families with the agency to make sustainable changes.
We have funded (thanks to all of our supporters ) the literacy garden that enables the girls at the school to read, write and perform in their own space without judgment or unwanted attention. We have featured some of their amazing work in previous newsletters. The creative minds of kids cut across language and culture.
During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to support the operating expenses of ROF to help the teachers and girls. This decision was not taken lightly as our funding is historically project-based, however, it played a critical role in the school remaining open in the midst of lockdowns and instability in Kenya. The Malala Fund found that due to COVID-19, more than 20 million girls (from pre-primary to upper secondary) are at risk of dropping out and may never return to school. We did not want this to happen at the ROF school!
With the new school year starting this August, our funds were used to help provide uniforms, shoes, and underwear for over 500 students at the school. The uniforms were important as the Kenyan government supported the tuition of students but their aid stops there. All other costs associated with going to school had to be provided either by the student or the school. Many girls at ROF school cannot afford their uniforms (and shoes and underwear) and would quit going to school if these were not provided.
With pride in our hearts, 100% of the girls from primary school were enrolled in secondary school. This is a truly incredible achievement and almost close to twice as high as the national average in Kenya.
Our mission is to get girls to school and to keep them there.
The Riley Orton Foundation is our featured project and you can support their girls staying in school by making a donation here.
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