One million girls in Kenya miss school every month because of their period. According to the Kenyan Ministry of Education, girls miss an average of 20% of the school year, which adds up to 165 days over four years of secondary school.
In 2022, almost 9 million people were living below the poverty line in Kenya, on less than $1.90 per day, resulting in 65% of women and girls unable to afford sanitary products and having to choose between dignity or education. These regular absences decrease their engagement and increase the likelihood that they will drop out of school altogether.
Being out of school, not only hinders their educational potential but can put girls at greater risk of malnutrition and abuse. Schools play a crucial role in protecting children from these dangers by providing a lunchtime meal (data suggests that for those who are living below the poverty line this is often the only food they consume all day) and keeping them safe during school hours. During the 2020 lockdown, within only the first four months of schools being closed, 4,000 children (ages 10-19) had been impregnated in Machakos Country alone. In Narok, the number was approximately 5,500 pregnant children and these figures are replicated in many other counties.
We work with partner projects in Kenya, to tackle the barriers that children growing up in slum communities face to accessing quality education. Founded in 1995, we currently support over 700 children and young people across Kenya. We work with communities to ensure children’s school fees are paid and that they have all the tools needed to thrive in their education. This includes nutritious meals, uniforms and shoes, learning equipment and feminine hygiene products.
We have a proven track record of supporting over 1000 children who were born into extreme poverty to fulfil their potential and release themselves from the cycle of poverty. Over the last 28 years we have seen children who were living in unimaginably hard conditions go on to thrive in careers such as biochemistry, social work, nursing and accountancy to name a few. All have become self-sufficient, independent, productive citizens who are making a positive contribution to their families, communities, and country.
Our long-term vision is to create a sustainable environment where every child, their family unit and local community has the opportunity to be self-sufficient. To that end, our partner projects have worked in consultation with parents and caregivers to identify the barriers they face to living financially independent, healthy lives and are delivering training on topics such as childcare, hygiene, nutrition, family planning, water management, garment making and business skills, as well as providing the means to start their own businesses through savings and loans groups, and business premises.
However, whilst our overall goal for the future is for families and communities to be able to provide for all the needs of their children themselves, to support that to happen, there are daily needs that must be met now.
By making a regular donation to Karibuni you will help us provide the necessary sanitary products to girls living in extreme poverty and make a significant difference in their lives. Together, we can empower and support them, giving them the chance to live healthy
and productive lives without the burden of period poverty.
Thank you so much!