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Education for Girls Everyday


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"Before this program we felt isolated and stigmatized." 

BLISS female student, October, 2013

"Many used to sit at home using plastic bags or newspapers... whatever we could find; of course we missed school." 

-BLISS female student, October, 2013

"Now we wish for our period to start!" 

- Gichunge Primary School female student, October, 2013

 

Background


Gender inequality in Kenya contributes greatly to education stratification. Women make up more than 51% of Kenya's population however, they are not receiving an equal education to men; the result significantly hinders women from contributing to national development (KDHS, 2009). Boys continually receive higher scores on national exams compared to girls. Gender stereotypes are prevalent and girls are often viewed as not "very able in mathematics and sciences" (Hungi & Thuku, 2009). In poor rural areas, such as Kithoka, young women have limited access to sanitary napkins and as a result are forced to stay at home while they are menstruating.On average young women in Kenya miss 4.9 days of school per month while they are menstruating because of the high cost of sanitary products (FAWE, 2007). Vulnerable young women may find ways to make money in order to purchase sanitary napkins such as prostitution. Educating women results in healthier families, lowers infant mortality rates, reduces family size and is one of the most effective means of birth control. Educated women are less likely to allow their children to be recruited into military action.  




Photos are from The "Girls2Women" event organized by International Peace Initiatives on Feb. 15, 2014  with 100 girls who form part of the girls' empowerment program done in partnership with "Educating Girls Everyday, Period." We had a great afternoon of learning about our reproductive health, self esteem, setting goals, knowing who I am, ETC.  Held at Kithoka Amani Children's Home (KACH) by Dr. Karambu, the Kenya project leader for "Educating Girls Everyday, Period."


The Initiative 


KUEF is supporting women in education by providing feminine sanitary products to local public schools in Kithoka Village. The initiative first started in 2011 and is now providing sanitary pads to 235 students at BLISS, 85 students at Ruiru Primary School, 90 students at Kithoka Primary School and 60 students at Gichunge Primary School. Since "Education for  Girls Everyday" started, female students have reported that the program has created a sense of community at the school among the female students and their female teachers. The program is not only increasing female school attendance, but is also changing attitudes towards menstruation and improving young women's self esteem.   



 

Photos show IPI staff delivering the pads to the three schools in September 2013. 

Plans for Sustainability

Long term goals to make the project sustainable include the development of a sanitary pads manufacturing plant in Kithoka Village. The plant will create all natural biodegradable pads made from local materials such as banana leaves. Products would be sold at an affordable and competitive rate to local kiosk owners and women's groups helping increase access to quality pads for female students and community members.

Get Involved

We are currently collecting funds to purchase sanitary napkins and underwear that will be dispersed at Kithoka Primary, Gichunge Primary and BLISS. With the help of a local community health worker, we are teaching a workshop on reproductive health to the female students to ensure proper use and disposal of sanitary napkins. 

$5 USD can purchase sanitary napkins for 5 months for one student

$7 USD can purchase underwear for one student for an entire year

$12 USD can purchase sanitary napkins for an entire year for one student

$50 USD can purchase sanitary napkins for 4 students for an entire year

$1000 USD towards the development of a sanitary pads manufacturing plant in Kithoka

Donate Now to this program:

Mail check payable to KUEF (memo line: "Education for Girls Everyday") to:

KUEF, P.O. Box 2182, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-2182

Or Donate online through PayPal (no account needed):