Life Changing Stories
Improving Girls Health & School Attendance
Simple Supplies in a Dignity Kit:
- reusable napkins
Simple Supplies give a girl:
- freedom of movement
- freedom from sexual exploitation
- freedom to attend school any day of the year
"Last month at Rongo Nyagowa Primary school, a girl student was standing at morning assembly when suddenly the rag she was wearing fell to the ground at her feet. The girl did not have underpants to wear during her menses, and the male teachers and boys thought it was extremely funny. The girl was so deeply embarrassed that she had to transfer to another school at greater distance from her home due to the shame she felt."
Why Re-usable Sanitary Supplies
"The Dignity Kit distribution events included male and female teachers as well as community members and professionals. Everybody shared freely.
What captured the mood in the photo is when one of the VOTY ladies [who make the reusable pads for our Dignity Kits] outlined challenges that, for lack of sanitaries, they grew up with and lived with as mothers.
Mama Ramogi was narrating how they resorted to using strips of old blankets. For them to use this method, they had to tie a piece of rope or chord around their waist to strap and firmly hold the strip of blanket. And they had to wear it all the day long without changing while at school."
"Other women in the crowd attested to still using the same method, and were expressing to the girls how lucky they are to be able to get a better version in the re-usable towels to manage their monthly needs."
"It was not a laughing matter."
Role Modeling & Girls Club Education
"The new round of sanitary distribution is on. The sensation is our graduated students, who are now participating as presenters and role models. They have been attracting crowds growing by the day. Five students are fully involved in these events and it is something to see! "
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"After Millicent and Sabato finished their peer talks, a class 8 girl approached them and confided that she is five months pregnant.
The 14-year-old girl cried and revealed that she was forced into a relationship because she could not afford sanitary and innerwears.
When "this boy" came forward and was ready to help her meet these needs, she gave in. The girl, Lavender Atieno, has parents who are very poor.
Lavender knows the boy who is responsible and says that these days, the boy does not even talk to her when they meet. She has been allowed to stay in school. The school community and parents have accepted her fate and are trying to be supportive. At times, though, she feels depressed when being teased at school."
The urgency for Boys Club education in 2012:
"At Ongalo Girls Club, Millicent was perplexed to hear girls say that boys had told them their breasts would not grow unless they allowed the boys to massage them.
Other girls have been made to believe that if they don't have sex at this early age, that they will have difficulties at childbirth."
2011 Program Outcomes
- 600 adolescent girls received Dignity Kits for hygienic solution to monthly needs.
- Girls' school attendance increased & dropout was reduced by 20% at partner schools.
- 3,000 girls benefited from Girls Club education at 12 partner primary schools.
- 12 Club Patron teachers received training.
- Pregnancies in 12 partner schools dropped to 2 cases this year - compared to schools without a girl child program - where 17 pregnancies in one school were recorded.
Former sponsored students join community mamas to promote girl child health and social empowerment at local primary schools. Students fulfill mandatory community service before entering university on government scholarships.
"These young adults are leaders in the making. Service learning has given them opportunity to develop confidence in public speaking and sharpen their leadership skills. They have been our best ambassadors."
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