This project has provided sanitary towels for approximately 2,500 of the 4,500 girls that need sanitary towels. Girls often miss up to five days of school during their menstrual cycle. The missed class time means lower test scores and less of an opportunity to continue school. Education for girls is not valued as highly as that for boys. Once menstruation begins, the girl is considered a woman in some tribes and is married so the family will have one fewer mouth to feed and will receive assistance in the form of a dowry.
A $5 donation provides the first year’s supply of towels and four pair of panties. It includes a workshop on sex education and the dangers of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. A teacher dispenses the towels monthly and provides counseling. The project becomes sustainable because the girls are given a small plot of land on school grounds and taught high-yield farming principals. The money earned by the sale of the produce that they grow is used to fund the next year’s supply of sanitary towels from the Freedom for Girls project jointly sponsored by Rotary and Lions Clubs of Kenya. Donated funds will be matched by the Rotary/Lions Freedom for Girls initiative in Kenya. Please ask your friends, family, neighbors to sponsor one or more girls.
The garden will produce enough funds to pay for the following year’s sanitary towels. The girls are being taught high-yield farming techniques to maximize the return of crops from the small plots. Preparing the soil requires deep digging, removal of weeds, adding a 50-50 ration of soil to manure, and creating plots 3-4 feet wide so you can do the weeding without stepping in the plot. We encourage the girls to replicate the plots at their homes, use it to improve the family’s nutrition and have produce to sell in the market. They are learning the basics of entrepreneurship.