Sanitary Towel Drive in Dandora

By Andrew Myendo

The Corona pandemic has affected many individuals here in different ways. Girls of the ages of 10 and beyond who experience a monthly period have not been exempt. Most of them come from a poor background and things like sanitary towels are a luxury to them. Their self-esteem has been affected to an extent of dropping out of school or skipping classes when they are on their period. Sometimes they go to an extent of using old clothes or even old blankets. For most of them the situation is so unbearable that they opt to look for someone to buy for them sanitary pads in exchange for sex.

A young group from Dandora Community Justice Centre has been mentoring young girls from this background and one thing that has come out clearly is that when they experience their periods, they suffer a lot. At first they got non-reusable sanitary towels and gave them but the problem did not end there. The girls kept on coming back for more, thus prompting them to go in search of a partner who would assist them in managing the numbers of the sanitary towels the girls needed.

It is in this regard that they got a partner who offered to help them with reusable towels which the girls can use for up to a whole year. 

On 31st of October this year, the Dandora Community Justice Centre Mentorship group and Madini Youth Foundation from Westlands held a sanitary drive in Dandora. About One hundred girls drawn from all phases of Dandora and the neighbouring slums met at Dandora Secondary School grounds to receive the reusable sanitary towels. The girls were excited and the joy in their faces could be seen from far away. They began to arrive at the venue as early as seven in the morning and as they were waiting for the visitors to arrive, they held an interactive session whereby they gave the background of their families and how they are coping during this pandemic. The stories that they gave were shocking because seeing them before hearing their stories, you would have thought they were doing fine.  Most of them have been raped by their boyfriends in the name of being provided for and they are scared to report because they believe they will lose the chance to get the pads. The drive was therefore a life-saver for them.



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