Hear from the girls themselves...
Swani Primary School was the location of the first Project Imagine distribution. In February 2016, we journeyed to Swani which is located in Murang’a County past miles of pineapple farms and forest. At the time, the school had 172 girls enrolled in class six through eight and each girl receives sanitary pads on a monthly basis from our Nairobi supplier, All Whites.
Since that first day in 2016 to now, we have distributed over 50,000 pads to the girls at Swani. During a recent visit, we interviewed three girls from class 6, 7, and 8. They shared why they think education is important and a bit about their lives.
Rose shared that before Project Imagine began distributing at their school, it was “very difficult” to get pads because families simply “do not have the money” for a necessity like pads that can be viewed as an extra expense. The girls said that many women in their families do not have access to sanitary pads, either, and without distribution at school, they would likely find themselves in the same position.
Grace said that fellow classmates were often too shy and “afraid to talk about their periods" with their friends. However after Project Imagine began the peer-to-peer conversations about menstrual health, they are more confident to share their concerns with each other; Rose added that those conversations offer them “practical” advice on growing up.
Ivonne said that because they now receive the pads on a monthly basis, they are “more comfortable” in school; Rose added that with better access to sanitary pads, they can now “have a chance to concentrate [on] our learning” and don’t miss school due to their period. They were asked what Project Imagine meant to them and they said it has become “a saviour” and “a helper” as they learn and grow. Ivonne said that Project imagine has “a heart of helping” and Rose said that her “prayer is that [Project Imagine] can continue.”
When we visit schools to distribute sanitary pads, we strive to be open and honest in our attitude and information about personal hygiene and health so that the girls will feel more comfortable in their own skin. They own their learning!