Few things are as disheartening as the fact that girls from disadvantaged families are missing school because of a process as natural as menstruation. This is due to lack of proper sanitary protection and other than risk embarrassment in school, girls who cannot afford to buy pads have little option than to stay home. Studies show that over 500,000 girls in Kenya miss at least 4 days of school every month. Absenteeism obviously interferes with their learning, their overall performance and education as a whole. This further goes to negatively impact their careers.
Furthermore, uneducated women are less likely to educate their girls and this cycle goes on and on to the detriment of the girl child empowerment efforts through education.
It is with this unfortunate scenario in mind that Procter & Gamble has since 2006 committed to keep girls in school through provision of free sanitary pads to girls from underprivileged families. This is through the Always Keeping A Girl In School programme which has been running for more than 10 years now. Aside from giving free pads, the program also educates girls about managing their lives through training on health issues, self confidence building and money management skills. Building a girls’ self-esteem during the very crucial time that is puberty when they could start having low confidence and body issues is very key to a girl’s future.
“When we think of the reasons that keep girls from going to school, from thriving, sanitary towels should not be one of them. We have seen over the years that the intervention of providing sanitary towels coupled with puberty education goes a long way in increasing the girls’ confidence level” Irene Mwathi-Miheso Communications Manager P&G said.
How can you help in this very noble course? As part of the Always Keeping Girls In School program, P&G has launched a campaign whereby members of the public are encouraged to buy Always Sanitary pads, and the company will match the number of pads purchased and distribute them to needy girls.
The in-store campaign which is running in all major supermarkets and mini markets in the country kicked off in mid-November and will continue to December 2017 with a target of providing over 10,000 girls with a full year’s supply of sanitary towels.
So when you pick a pack of Always in the supermarket around this time, know that you’re taking part in a crucial initiative to keep a girl in school for a whole year uninterrupted.