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NGOs empower girls in Kakamega

Various non-governmental organisations in Kakamega, championing for women, teamed up to empower girls to access sanitary towels and address the stigma related to the menstrual circle.

Officials from the organisations held counselling sessions for girls, and they also offered sanitary towels at Mahiakalo Primary School during celebrations to mark the International Day of the Girl Child.

Speaking during the event, the Programme Officer for Youth Leaders Stakeholders, Salma Marita, said they had started in-school and out-of-school mentorship programmes for girls.

For out-of-school, they target teenage moms to mentor them, focusing on skills development to enable them to be self-reliant, as most of them dropped out of school after getting pregnant.

Nelly Lang’at, the founder of Salama Havens Organisation, said the lack of sanitary towels is still a problem that is contributing to teenage pregnancy and affecting the majority of girls from rural areas.

The headteacher of Mahiakalo Primary School, Bimulamula Julia, said that the majority of girls’ skip classes during menstruation because of lack of sanitary towels. This problem affects their performance in school.

She urged more stakeholders to come on board and support the girls to access basic necessities like sanitary towels.

Speaking during the occasion, Mahiakalo Ward Member of County Assembly Modesta Auka said they have formed a strong County Assembly Women Caucus to fight for the rights of women and girls.

She said the caucus works closely with the Kakamega Governor’s Wife, Prof. Janet Kasili Barasa, to ensure girls access sanitary towels, reduce HIV/AIDS infection, and address increasing teenage pregnancy cases.

She noted that she will soon introduce a bill in the county assembly for Kakamega County to set some budget for the provision of sanitary towels to girls across the county.

She urged parents to also sacrifice and provide the basic necessities for their girls.

By Teresia Atieno and Clarence Shem

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