- A girl absent from school due to menses for 4 days in 28 days (a month) loses 13 learning days equivalent to 2 weeks of learning in every school term.
- In a year (9 months) a girl loses 39 learning days equivalent to 6 weeks of learning time. A girl in primary school between grades 6 and 8 (3 years) loses 18 learning weeks out of 108 weeks.
- Within the 4 years of high school the same girl loses 156 learning days equivalent to almost 24 weeks out of 144 weeks of learning in High school!!
- This is a clear indication that a girl child is a school drop-out while still in school
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The Sanitary Towel Project
Read the latest project updates here.
The Sanitary Towels project targets school-going girls from disadvantaged social and economic backgrounds in their puberty. Partners in this project are Rotary (District 9200) and Lions both of which are service organisations as well as Health Education Africa Resource Team (HEART) is a registered trust in Kenya since 2001 with fully qualified board of Kenyan consultants and staff who work with the American counterpart of HEART, A 501 C-3 organization comprised of American health professionals and concerned business leaders. The roles of the project partners are split into two:
- HEART provides the database of girls in need of Sanitary Towels and provides undergarments, sanitary napkins and hygiene education.
- Rotary (District 9200) and Lions mobilise resources necessary for the project and its objectives.
The strengths in these relationships are that Rotary (District 9200) and Lions are internationally renowned service organisations with good networks for resource mobilisation; HEART is empowering Kenyans through education and resources to create a healthy, sustainable, disease- free life for their communities.
Besides the core activity of sourcing and providing sanitary pads at cheaper than the market rates, the project also seeks to lobby the Government to establish a sanitary pads provision program in schools.
The main motivation for the participants is the unprecedented partnership between Lions and Rotary (District 9200), which have been “competitors” in service. The resourcefulness of the two organisations to secure Sanitary Pads at a quarter of the prevailing market rates has also been a key motivator as far as the project goes. Funds will be accessed through the pools of Grants that both organisations have as well as from Donations and Fundraising Events (locally and internationally).
The project seeks to provide sanitary pads to girls from marginalised locations and slums since these are the most affected.
Currently sanitary pads are being availed to needy school girls at a quarter of the prevailing market rates. The rationale of the provision and distribution is to be able to support 1 girl for 1 Year.
Project Implementation is through the identification of needy schools as per HEART’s database and mobilising resources through Rotary (District 9200) - Lions’ Networks.
Consequences of girls’ absenteeism from school
- This is a sure threat to the realization of the gender equity and equality in education in Kenya.
- It follows therefore, that Kenya as a country is unlikely to achieve Education for All (EFA) Goals, Gender Parity by 2015 and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
To reduce absenteeism from school due to lack of sanitary towels and provide puberty education for the girls.