According to the World Bank, an estimated 500 million women and adolescent girls lack access to menstrual products and adequate facilities for menstrual hygiene management. Data from the Ministry of Education in Kenya shows that a girl is absent from school for four days in a month because of period poverty. Over time, they remain behind in their studies compared to their male counterparts and some of them end up dropping out of school.
In their continuous effort to ensure that school-going girls around Athi River, in Machakos County, remain in school and end period poverty, Superior Homes Kenya through their corporate social responsibility arm, SHK Foundation under the Nuru initiative, has been donating free menstrual hygiene products with the latest beneficiaries being Kanaani Girls Secondary School who received a donation of 800 packets of sanitary towels.
Speaking during the event at Kanaani Girls Secondary School, Superior Homes Kenya Head of Brand and Marketing Louisa Wanjiru said that it is important for every school-going girl child to be able to have access to menstrual hygiene products in order for them not to miss school.
“Sanitary towels are a basic necessity to all girls because they are crucial in maintaining hygiene and preventing infections that might occur during menstruation. While it is a basic necessity, many school-going girls cannot afford sanitary towels. At Superior Homes through our Nuru Foundation, we aim to ensure that girls around the areas of our operations attend school even when they are on their menstrual periods. We are cognizant of our role in these communities and would like to continue contributing positively to ensure we keep our girls in school,” said Superior Homes Kenya’s Head of Brand and Marketing, Louisa Wanjiru.
Lack of menstrual hygiene products among school-going girls can lead to unhygienic use of materials such as rags which can lead to health complications. Misconceptions regarding the natural process of menstruation also see girls shamed, bullied, and even scorned for staining their clothes during their periods. This can lead to low self-esteem and emotional distress.
“To further tackle period poverty, we are committed to ensuring that these young girls are equipped with life skills as well through our career talk sessions. Empowering them allows them to freely pursue their dreams”, added Superior Homes Assistant Head of Sales Faith Mutio.
The Nuru initiative also holds monthly career talks to advise the girls and to motivate them in their studies. This allows them to broaden their mindset.
The schools supported by SHK Foundation, under the Nuru initiative, are Athi River Secondary School, Kinanie Secondary School, Ngombeni Girls Secondary School, and Kanaani Girls School in Machakos and Kilifi Counties where Superior Homes Kenya has set up real estate developments.