Days for Girls

By Linneah Lijodi 

Girls from slum areas tend to indulge in risky sexual behaviour in a bid to provide for themselves  sanitary towels. Our young girls have taken it upon themselves to ensure that they get the sanitary  towels even if it means using their own young bodies. This risky behaviour not only puts them at the risk of  getting pregnant and contracting sexually transmitted disease but also hinders most girls in the informal  settlements from continuing with their education and being empowered. A lot of girl child empowerment  organisations are in the informal settlement this is to help the girl child in making the right decisions  in life. 

Days for Girls is a non-governmental organisation based in Korogocho slums that is dedicated to  eradicate period poverty. It sews reusable sanitary towels that can be used for up to 3 years. This is a  very good initiative as it helps in saving the girls the burden of providing for themselves sanitary  towels and falling in the hands of men who are waiting to take advantage of their naivety and  childhood. It is also very eco-friendly. The Mukuru Community Justice Centre was able to mobilise 85 girls who benefited from the sanitary care package. 

The distribution drive was a fun-time for the girls, who expressed themselves freely and asked questions on sexual  and reproductive health. These questions helped in enlightening our young girls to be informed of the  choices they make and the consequences of what they choose to indulge in, although most girls in  the informal settlement still get pregnant at an alarming rate even after being through these sessions. Days for girls spoke about human trafficking which is  also rampant in the informal settlement due to the fact that poverty levels and  lack of information were some of  the reasons that most girls and women were trafficked with the lie of a better life. 

Some women and girls get trafficked as domestic workers, some are used to perform rituals while  others are sex slaves. Most girls and women take this risk with the hope for a better life for them  and their families. The girls were encouraged to appreciate whatever little they have and work smart  towards their preferred lives. Girls were also informed on forms  of sexual harassment that some of  them are subjected to, which most of the girls just brush of lightly.

We need a society of brave  women who can speak for themselves and call out injustices being done to them. There was also  the aspect of the girls learning defence mechanisms which comes in handy in dangerous situations  and can be used in self defence against paedophiles, rapists and anyone with bad intentions. The girls  were released and later a follow up was done by Mukuru Community Justice Centre if they arrived  safe and sound.


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