I am Alice Wambui from Kenya working with Days for Girls organization as a youth activist, social enterprise at grassroot levels. As a teenage i experienced lots of challenges to manage menstruation having come from a humble background of 14 children. During my final exams in primary schools my periods started, i was so confused about the whole subject. For lack of finances to purchase menstrual products , i had to use papers from books, blankets and rags. When i discovered boys dont experience menstruation, i really wanted to be a boy. A girl told me if i would go round 8 times on certain trees i would transform to a boy, i did that several times and nothing changed. Later at 16 years when i got right information about menstruation i promised to help other girls.
i am currently a master student at Mount Kenya University pursuing Community development(Development studies), this is my final year and i am working on a thesis research on ``Effects of inaccessibility of sanitary pads on academic performance of girls´´. I started a social enterprise called Smile star´D Days for Girls enterprise in Nakuru ,Kenya. We basically make reusable sanitary pads to help restore dignity and keep girls in school without shame of periods, we also teach on menstrual hygiene management. So far weve reached over 15000 girls and boys with training and menstrual kits.
During the pandemics, we have seen cases of menstrual challenges rise, and due to restriction we manage to reach to girls and women at individual households. The menstrual challenges especially in grassrot level is real, girls are engaging in transactional sex for pads and others digging holes to sit on during the periods. We continue to support girls and women during this difficult times although the needs are so huge. We are also making facemasks and helping the community since its mandatory to have it in Kenya and not everyone who can afford. We have incorporated hand washing education and making water stations to help the community stay safe during the pandemics.
I have tried to attach a few photos to show but i thing the website doesnt accept size of my photos.