Josephine Ndiras, from the Mukgodo Girls Empowerment Programme, invited Pauline Kawap from the Borana Mobile Clinic, Ochen Maiyani the Borana Conservancy Community Liaison Officer and me – Nicky Dyer, to the launch of the Redline Campaign held at Chumvi Primary School (to the South of Borana) on 22nd September 2020.
It was an incredibly inspirational event, hosted by Days For Girls, a programme founded on Il Ngwesi Conservancy, to Borana’s North. This programme makes re-usable sanitary pads so that girls may continue with their education whilst menstruating. The NGO is now represented in 160 countries worldwide with their head office in Washington DC.
Days For Girls have a team of women in Chumvi who make the packs – and several ‘ambassadors’ who help to promote the sale of these packs. The sanitary pads should last for about 4 years if they are well looked after. The ‘ambassadors’ also provide training and education which is so important when using a reusable product.
The team gave some amusing but pertinent talks – persuading fathers to give their daughters the money to purchase these packs for KES 1000/- (around $10 USD) each, educating us all on sexual health, hygiene and the biology of the reproductive system.
The Redline Campaign is working to try and remove the stigma surrounding menstruation in Laikipia. The main problem seems to be a lack of education, some girls are terrified by the onset of puberty and the lack of funds from their parents to buy sanitary towels.
The British Army has been working alongside communities in Laikipia to donate 1,000 of these sanitary packs. Borana Conservancy pledged to help in anyway possible and will start selling these re-usable pads through the Borana Mobile Clinic to reaffirm the lessons on hygiene and girl’s independence