We would like to provide girls in rural Kenya with menstrual cups so that they can go to school during their menstrual period.
Our mission is to give Kenyan girls the opportunity to experience their period in a more hygienic, sustainable and less traumatic way. Also, the goal is to enable girls to keep going to school, even when menstruating. We would like to start by introduce 250 Kenyan girls to the menstrual cup. The cups can be retained for a longer period than sanitary pads or tampons and can be cleaned so that they can be reused. The cup is 100% degradable and can be used multiple times, up to 10 years.
Facts and figures in Kenya In Kenya, at least six out of ten girls regularly miss a school day because of their menstruation. Sanitary pads and tampons are too expensive and that is why girls stay at home. Research by the Kenyan Ministry of Education shows that an annual average of 18 weeks of school is missed by girls in both primary and secondary education due to menstruation. When there is no access to hygiene products, several alternatives like leaves, mattress filling or even sitting on sand during a girl’s period is used.
Education is power!
Due to the poverty in rural Kenya, girls cannot affort hygiene products to use during their menstrual period. Instead they use leaves, rags or sit on the sand. They are ashamed to go to school due to stigma and the possibility of blood stains on their clothing, so they miss out on school during their menstrual period. Missing out on school so often eventually leads to dropping out of school. Something that is so natural as a menstrual period should definitely not be the reason for girls to leave their education.
The first thing we need are of course the menstrual cups for the girls in Kenya. However we cannot just give them this cups and let them figure out to use it themselves, we also need to educate them. Besides educating them about how to use this cup, we also need to educate them about their own bodies and personal hygiene, therefore, we also need educational materials such as posters of the female reproductive system.
- Menstrual cups - Small bags to store the menstrual cups after use -Educative female reproductive system posters. -Posters to explain how to use the cups, clean and store them.
Late last year we performed a needs assessment research in Kenya to have a better understanding of the situation in Kenya. One of our own team members is from Kenya, this made it quite easy for us to find schools to perform our needs assessment. At the moment our project is designed to attend to 250 girls, this number is based on the amount of girls in two secondary girls schools in rural Kenya. We hope to collect the money through donations and grants. After buying the cups, we need to get them to Kenya and give them to the girls. These girls need to be educated about the use of the menstrual cups and they also need to be educated about their own bodies. We will also collaborate with a women empowerment organization in Kenya to monitor, evaluate and assist the girls when needed. There are many more girls in Kenya who have nothing to use during their menstrual cycle, our aim for this project is to turn it into a self sustainable project using the TOMS's model (buy one give one).