‘The Girls Study Drive’

The world opens up with a single key. That key is and forever has been education. Worldwide, education is the core driving force of life. Everyone wants to be educated for the respect it earns you, and the self-worth you get in comparison to the level you have attained. School being the primary source. In Kenya however, the number of students in schools located in the interior of the, country decrease as they advance. This is a major concern, particularly as the students are mostly female.

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Over the years, early pregnancies, forced marriages and genital mutilation have been causes highlighted for females in the interior parts of the country to drop out of school. Menstrual periods, however, have been a major underlying cause despite being a natural part of every female’s life. At the break of puberty, the female student misses a whole week of school every month, making them miss great chunks of the syllabus. Some eventually opt to drop out of school altogether, leading to the fall of the economy due to increased opportunity for crime and other societal immoralities. All these eventualities are caused by lack of access to and finances for sanitary towels.

Laliat primary and Secondary school, a learning institution in Kericho county 17km km from Kericho town, is among the many schools affected by this problem. According to principal of Laliat secondary school, children have the zeal and energy to learn, only, the problem is that the number of girls keeps decreasing as they advance. He goes on to say that in standard four of a particular class in the primary side, there used to be about 61 girls , but as they advanced to standard eight, the girls reduced to 19, even these girls who are lucky to remain in school don’t have it easy.

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“We own a poultry farm. I use the feathers. Place them on panties and they help me.”

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“My boyfriend drives a bodaboda, he buys me sanitary towels every month in exchange for sexual pleasures.”

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“I use handkerchief and during my period, I sit at one position in class since morning until evening when everyone has gone home, then I go after.”

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“I cut out pieces from my blankets and use them during the days of my period.”

Given this state of affairs, Pendo Africa, an organization aimed at empowering both boys and girls mainly through mentorship was born.Founded by Faith Tanui and Cynthia Tarrus. In relation to this, they have come up with a project named “The Girls Study Drive” where the drive is aimed at girls in the interior parts of the country. The drive is set to visit Kericho, Bomet, Baringo, Tranzoia and Malindi. They will be provided with re-usable sanitary towels. This comes as a way to reduce the rapid increase in the number of female dropouts in schools.

In this case, re-usable sanitary towels are the ideal solution to this problem. As the name suggests, they have a re-usable  nature. They can be washed and used again for up to a year or two. Pendo Africa have teamed up with M-changa, to ensure that you, the citizen, also can participate in this girl drive. By donating 400/= to this project. The 400/= caters for  one bag, which contains five re-usable sanitary towels, a guide on how to use it, a bag in which they can put the used towels before washing, and a pair of panties. This will help a girl stay comfortably in school for up to two years or more.

Join in on this study drive and keep these girls going for only 400/= .You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who cannot repay you.

“There is no better exercise for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up”

–John Holmess

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All images in this post are courtesy of Al-amin Mutunga

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5 Comments

  • Gloria Gwahalla Sep 9, 2015 1:06 pm

    Comment: an aspiring article the girl drive is one in a million if you need volunteers in month of December I will avail myself

  • belinda Sep 14, 2015 7:24 am

    It is so sad that at this age in time, the ladies are still suffering because of what was given to them by nature. With that said thanks Salma for putting it out there and giving platforms to help☺

  • Victoria Agunga Sep 14, 2015 4:26 pm

    You have a pure heart Salma May God bless you ..will sure contribute my part ..hope more people chip in ??

  • Mariam kibibi Sep 20, 2015 11:44 am

    This has touched my heart wow am really proud of how much you have enlightened me

  • Benjamin Mwalimu Sep 24, 2015 10:55 am

    This girls go through a lot. I thank God for Pendo Africa for what they are doing. May God bless you Salma for helping them in you own way by passing this message across. A Girl should never have to exchange sexual favours for sanitary towels.

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