AFG PARTNERS WITH LOCAL GROUP AND GATOTO TEACHERS
IN NEW EFFORT TO KEEP GIRLS IN SCHOOL
A fact of life for all women, menstruation can be a difficult challenge for girls growing up in Mukuru. The high cost of menstrual supplies and lack of dependable disposal options often drive girls to miss class fearing that they might stain their uniforms and face ridicule. As a result, girls miss up to 15 days of school per school term in Nairobi’s informal settlements, including Mukuru.
According to the UN, more than half of girls in Kenya between the ages of 12 and 19 lack resources to obtain sufficient menstrual supplies, including pads and underwear. In 2017, the Kenyan government acknowledged the problem and passed legislation intended to provide free sanitary pads in all public schools.
However, the rollout bypassed schools not supported by the government, including Gatoto. Furthermore, lack of regular trash disposal forces communities like Gatoto’s surrounding neighborhood, Mukuru, to burn all trash. Burning sanitary pads is not easy and creates toxic smoke.
Recognizing these challenges, the Gatoto teachers have partnered with It’s A Girl Thing, a local NGO run by two Nairobi-based women, to donate a reusable and reliable option to Gatoto’s girls. Mooncups – made of medical grade silicone – provide an option that girls can wear throughout the entire school day, easily clean and reuse for up to 10 years.
Importantly, It’s A Girl Thing provides training on mooncup use. This helps create a welcoming dynamic in which girls are able to discuss their concerns about their menstrual cycles with both their female teachers and their mothers, who are invited to try the cups along with their daughters. Maureen, a recent Gatoto alum, described the success of this effort on local television.
It’s A Girl Thing visited Gatoto in 2017 and 2018, donating approximately 80 cups, and will be returning in 2019.
With your help, AFG is providing financial support to make mooncup delivery and training a permanent part of Gatoto’s programming. Importantly, our donations will provide other critical necessities for Gatoto’s girls, including a locally made, reusable kit that will include two pairs of underwear, 8 panty liners, and cleaning supplies.
The cost of the mooncups and new kits is expected to be about $10.00 per Gatoto student. If you would like to support this effort, please donate here.
SCHOOL HEAD TO VISIT THE STATES IN OCTOBER
Betty Nyagoha is visiting the United States in the fall of 2019. Planned dates are October 13 to 19, with events in Washington, New York, and,for the first time, Boston.
You are all warmly invited to join us and meet Betty. Additional details will be included in our first email after Labor Day, and invitations will be sent to all Gatoto supporters.
PLEASE SUPPORT GATOTO
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AFG is a 100% volunteer, not for profit 501(c)3 corporation. AFG’s limited direct costs are paid by restricted board member donations. 100% of all other donations to American Friends of Gatoto are forwarded to Gatoto. Receipts are sent to all donors for their tax filing purposes.
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