At least 500 schoolgirls from S.A. JoyTown Secondary School in Thika Sub-County have benefited from a year-long supply of sanitary towels.
This is after Bethel Network, in collaboration with Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, joined hands in an effort geared towards supporting girls’ education in the country.
The effort aims to address the significant challenges faced by young girls in accessing menstrual hygiene products, which often lead to missed classes and hindrances to their education.
Research has shown that 65 per cent of girls in Kenya often miss school for four to five days a month due to inadequate access to menstrual hygiene products. The high cost of sanitary towels often makes them unaffordable for many young girls and their families in Kenya. This pressing issue perpetuates the cycle of absenteeism and restricts girls from fully pursuing educational opportunities.
Speaking at the event, Nurse Liz Kuya from Bethel Network stated that providing a girl with underwear and sanitary pads may increase her chances of staying in school by a huge margin.
“As a network, we believe in empowering girls and women, and we have recognised that one of the ways to achieve this is to prioritise their access to quality education. Absenteeism from school when a girl receives her monthly period is unacceptable because she ends up missing a lot of school. We are particularly proud to be involved in this initiative, which aims to break the barriers that prevent young girls from attending school and reaching their full potential,” she added.
She appealed to male parents to support their daughters so that they know that menstruation was natural.
The students were also given more insights on life skills—self-awareness, self-esteem, appreciation of others, interpersonal relationships, goal-setting, and assertiveness—and guided on menstrual hygiene materials.
Building on this impactful endeavour, the network hopes to extend its support to four regions in Kenya, namely Kitale, Kajiado, Nairobi, and Makueni, by providing girls with a supply of sanitary pads to alleviate their burden and create a more supportive environment for girls to thrive academically.
By Hellen Lunalo