Over 70 girls in Ilbissil Rescue Center have received sanitary towels, courtesy of Little Miss Africa Kenya, Fabbie Naisaba Lolosoli.
The 1,030 sanitary towels were donated by well-wishers, after the nine-year-old Fabbie Naisaba appealed for donations of the crucial hygiene utilities.
The minor had initially championed her cause to increase tree cover in Kenya, but shifted gears to provision of sanitary towels to underprivileged girls, after she noticed the girls were missing school due to lack of the basic commodity.
“I had once visited Samburu County to plant trees in one of the schools in the area and noticed there are very few girls from class five to class eight. When I asked why, they said the girls did not have sanitary towels, thus opted to stay at home during their monthly periods and that is when I decided to start this initiative,” says Naisaba.
She says it is disheartening that some girls are forced to use old rags and old pieces of mattress when they are on their menses, as it exposes them to infections.
Naisaba is appealing to the government to distribute sanitary towels to schools for free as it is a normal biological function, which need not keep girls out of school.
One of the initiative partners, Dr. Susan Njuguna, from Eloi Children Center, noted that it is unfortunate that most underprivileged girls cannot afford sanitary towels and tend to turn to young men for towels, who end up impregnating them.
“We are facing hard times economically, making most parents unable to afford the sanitary towels for their girls. The girls, therefore, turn to young men for help and they end up pregnant or with Sexually Transmitted Diseases, which should not be the case,” says Dr. Njuguna.
Dr. Njuguna further says that the sanitary towels boosts the girl’s confidence and when the girl is confident, she can achieve her dreams.
The Director of the Center, Daniel Lantei, appreciated the donation, saying it will go a long way in keeping the girls at school.
The initiative which started last year covers Samburu, Pokot and Kajiado counties.
By Diana Meneto