The story was featured in local news yet again but this time it awoke something in me. Kenyan girls from poor families and marginalised communities were missing school because they lacked sanitary pads during their menstrual cycle. Same story, different location, same country.

It kept playing in my mind this time round, which made me realise that I needed to stand up for all the young girls who had no idea where to speak up to, I was tired of sitting back and blaming the government. As I did my research I realised its an issue being experienced in many developing nations.

To these girls, it is the most unbareable time of each month and they would rather not go to school. When their menstrual cycles arrive, the stress becomes what to use in place of sanitary pads. Most use rags, sponges or reuse pads. These unhygienic and dirty options mean all manner of infections could happen. To me it brought sadness to my heart. How much is a sanitary pad, surely? A packet in Kenya costs anywhere from less then a $1 to much more depending on where you buy it from.

Using rags or sponges during their period is what they know best, whether or not it will infect them, it doesn’t really matter so long as they can get through the menstrual period counting down the days with dread and anger. I stood up with an initiative called Path to Woomanhood 254, I started it simply as a facebook group, where I could share with friends the numerous articles and news features that I found online. I then decided well, I can do something about it so I planned for an outreach to Kibera. Right here on Wolrd Pulse I met Jane Anyango and told her I wanted to pay her project a visit in Kibera, one of the biggest slums in Africa. Together with friends we were able to get 354 packets of sanitary pads to 166 girls. Druing the outreach we gave a demonstration on using and disposing sanitary pads. We also had a forum to discuss hygiene during the monthly period amidst giggles.

My intention was to make a difference for at least one girl for one month, because I knew I could, but now I know I can do much more and thats exactly what I plan to do. This is MyStoryStandingUp

Take action! This post was submitted in response to My Story: Standing Up .

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Nice work you are doing, Am so amazed by what you are doing, i have been working in the same are as i distribute pad to kids in school in kibera in the conjunction with zanaa and NGO that is aimed to keep girls in school. Women should stand for other women because we are the most powerful creatures on earth. I love your good work. Do you still do this? i would like to volunteer with you as i have so many connection with schools in kibera after working with them for three years. Please get back to me through my email address maureen.mukoya@gmail com.

Thanks Maureen

Hey Maureen, great to hear from you! Yes i still do it, i was in Kibera last weekend, i will inform you on other outreaches going forward and for sure we can partner on it. Please join the facebook group as you can also post all the issues and ideas you have about the problem of no sanitary pads for the girls going to school. I really believe that this is an issue which most people do not realise just how much it impacts on the girl child.

Keep up the good work. There was a fellow World Pulsarian who teaches how to make cloth napkins, which are reusable and hygenic. You can get in touch with her. If you are interested and fail to locate her send me a message.

Love

Nusrat

Thanks Nusrat, i had gotten that info, its a matter of now finding how we can make them locally i.e sewing machines for the women of the area and such issues to think about. One big challenge though is that there is a scarcity of water in the slums which means washing reuseables is at times challenging, though for sure i know the reuseable ones will make a big difference for the girls! Thanks for sharing!

WOW!!!! Thanks Nusrat, Together we all can make this world a better placeThat was a awake up call.We take too many things for granted at times, and at times in life the lens we choose to see things from are so different,, However we all say thanks, Keep it up

Y'ello, This my new email address freddiegibs@yahoo.com note that freddygibs is no longer my email address as it was hacked, Frederica,

Dear Nkinyanjui, I am moved by your story and inspired by your action. This is no joke it is so real and I am happy that you moved and acted and still move and act to help solve the situation. I realized that it is easy and we are quick to blame governments when we can actually be part of the solution buy doing little things in our way to solve the problem. When it comes to issues that affect girls I do not hesitate to stand up and act because I have been there and I know how it feels sometimes to overcome all these barriers and become a woman of vision and change. I salute your hard work! Our 'Train-Mentor' Girls project is currently running in Kenya as well and I wanted to let you know just in case you might be interested so we find ways of working together to help girls.

In admiration

Gifty Pearl Abenaab Founder Greight Foundation www.greightfoundation.org

Hi Naomi, You brought a smile to the faces of more than 100 school girls by issuing them with Sanitary pads, I say a big thank you. Thanks to World pulse for creating this forum for us to meet great people like you. God Bless you and keep it up

Ahsante,

Anyango

nyangi

Jane, i know exactly what you mean because if it wasn't for World Pulse i would not have met you neither would i have known about your project. Thanks for having me there, i really love visiting you guys. We will continue to do much more together.

Dear Naomi,

Growingup in the US I never had to miss school due to lack of sanitary pads. Something I have taken for granted, and something that men never think about. Thank you for for making the lives of these young women just a little easier. This forum continues to be a source of inspiration, and I am grateful to be part of it.

Thank you for Standing UP and sharing with us.

In Peace, beverly

Beverly, thanks so much for your words! Similarly i also never had a problem getting sanotary pads when growing up because my parents could afford them easily. I saw it on local news here and i knew that i should do something, i pray that many more can start doing something because together we can do so much more!

Hey Naomi, I must say I love what you are doing, thank you for standing up for these girls. I do know someone who makes re-usable sanitary towels here in Kenya, and will email you his details. I would like to volunteer in your program so please let me know. please email me purity@akilidada.org All the best! Purity