What you need to know:
- A group of youths in Isiolo have rolled out a mobilisation campaign to ensure easy access to sanitary towels to ensure the girls “maintain their dignity”.
- They have been undertaking door-to-door sensitisation campaigns on menstrual health at the villages.
- The youths target to reach out to 10,000 girls from vulnerable families across the county’s 10 wards.
As the government prepares for schools reopening next month, parents continue to face an uphill task of providing their children with amenities they received before the institutions of learning were closed in mid-March following the outbreak of coronavirus.
Thousands of Kenyans have, in the wake of the pandemic, lost their jobs and had their businesses adversely affected forcing them to seek alternatives to cater for their families.
Most girls have not been getting essential supplies such as sanitary towels. A number, in Isiolo, have reportedly been lured into trading sex-for-money to buy pads,, leaving them pregnant or infected with Sexually Transmitted Infections.
Cognizant of these challenges, a group of youths have rolled out a mobilisation campaign to ensure easy access to sanitary towels to ensure the girls “maintain their dignity”.
Through Hifadhi Hadhi Campaign, the youths, under Drop of Dignity group, have been mobilising resources via online platforms, NGOs and retail shops in Isiolo town and its outskirts.
The group has brought together 50 youths from Dress of Change, Isiolo TV, Every Girls Dream, Next Generation Mfinyanzi Youth Group, NIBC Entertainment and Baliti FM among others, all involved in girl child empowerment programmes.
“We resolved to come together, pool and mobilise resources to assist our girls who have not been getting regular supplies of pads, which exposes them to a lot of risks,” said secretary Zeitun Abdullahi.
From their first campaign, which lasted a month and two weeks, the youths distributed Sh70,000 worth of sanitary pads to 300 girls and 50 young mothers in Burat Ward.
The beneficiaries also got soap, with young mothers also receiving diapers for their children.
Apart from the contributions they receive from well-wishers, the youths also sell branded T-shirts and wrist bands to generate income.
They have been undertaking door-to-door sensitisation campaigns on menstrual health at the villages.
“We are so happy to receive pads and diapers for our children,” said Ms Mikelina Lepon, after the distribution exercise at Kilimani Primary School.
While decrying the biting effects of Coronavirus, the mothers appealed to the county government to come up with women empowerment programmes to improve their livelihoods.
The youths target to reach out to 10,000 girls from vulnerable families across the county’s 10 wards.
“We are determined towards helping the girls maintain their dignity and we will not stop until we reach 1,000 girls in every ward,” said a member, Moses Thuranira.
Next Generation Mfinyanzi youth chair Boniface Muhuha, said residents have a role to play in ensuring girls are protected from exploitation.
“It is not bad to ask for help from various institutions but with what we have done, it is evident we all can do something and make our county great,” said Mr Muhuha.
The group has warmed the hearts of many residents who have praised it for the kind gesture.
“If such a small group can mobilise resources and assist hundreds of girls, what of our leaders and the county government?” Musa Abdullahi shared on Facebook.