What we do
WHY SANITARY TOWELS?
In many countries worldwide, girls drop out at the backend of primary school, around 7th or 8th grade, due to their menstrual cycle. The most vulnerable age of a female in Kenya and other 3rd world countries is between 11-14, or grades 6-8. During this period, girls are prone to early marriage, early pregnancy, and other corresponding issues such as HIV/AIDS.
UNICEF and FAWE, two reputable organizations, report that a girl’s menstruation cycle is among the most critical causes of dropout for girls in Africa. This is often a result of embarrassment, shame, and stigma surrounding the period. The Government of Kenya reports that poor girls will miss on average 20% of school days due to lack of access to sanitary towels. As a result, girls frequently do poorly in class, causing them to fall behind and consequently be unable to continue on to secondary school.
However, when we are able to provide reliable access to sanitary towels, as well as knowledge in areas such as menstrual health, hygiene and protecting and valuing their bodies, girls have the confidence and the necessary supplies to stay in school.
After 3 years of partnership with the wonderful local Kenya sanitary towel company All Whites, Project Imagine has made the switch to being supplied by another local company- Nia pads. We changed to Nia pads because we wanted to increase the comfort of the pads as well as include a supply of underwear and education comics for the girls. Using Nia pads as a supplier means that it costs approximately $7 to provide a girl with sanitary towels for an entire year! That is an entire year in which she can continue her education, maintain attendance, as well as regain her confidence and dignity. Just $7!
Project Imagine works at three schools in Kenya using a peer-to-peer model of education and mentoring. We travel to two schools in Murang'a county 3 times a year - Mt. Olive Primary school and Swani Primary school.
During these visits, we spend time talking with the girls about health, hygiene and personal safety. Each girl at both schools receives enough sanitary towels for that school term.
In addition, we visit Salama school in Nairobi every other week. Our focus at Salama is to build strong relationships with the girls and foster an environment to help grow self-appreciation and love, and the importance of sisterhood. We developed the curriculum we use at Salama with the help of professional health educators.
At all three schools, we work with the administrations to ensure transparency and accountability. The sanitary towels are kept in a secure place but our focus is always on building and maintaining strong relationships with the girls. The Project Imagine team loves going on these schools visits, in which our interactions with the girls are always joy filled. Check out our videos to learn more!