Project #1609

Water & Sanitation ensure 2000 Kenyan girls learn

by Health and Water Foundation
Feb 19, 2013

Sanitary pads for Nyangena Girls

a girls showing her packet
a girls showing her packet

Dear Partners,

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.

girls learning on using the pads
girls learning on using the pads
a girl receiving the pads
a girl receiving the pads

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Organization Information

Health and Water Foundation

Location: Nairobi, Kenya - Kenya
Website: http:/​/​
Health and Water Foundation
Project Leader:
Evans Misati
Executive Director, Health and Water Foundation
Nairobi, Kenya

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