Following her visit to Kenya mid last month, a beauty pageant, Keerah Carter who was crowned Ms. Wisconsin 2020 has kicked off a monthly distribution of sanitary pads to over 150 girls in Ngere Kagoro in Muhoroni Sub County.
Keerah was moved by testimonies from widows and young girls on the challenges they undergo to get pads for their monthly menstruations.
Upon her return to the US, Keerah mounted an aggressive fundraising campaign to ensure the girls get a steady supply of the much needed pads to the girls.
When the girls received the second batch of the pads at Carter Foundation Training Centre in Nyangoma area, they were all smiles and poured out their happiness.
Ruth Abwana, a 15 year old high school student says the pads donation will go along in alleviating the sufferings they normally undergo.
“It is a good gesture that Keerah shared our sufferings during our monthly menstruations, I am happy that she is committed to helping us,” she said.
Abwana says they rely on their parents to get the pads but due to poverty and mostly children with single parents, it becomes a challenge getting the pads.
At times, the girls use clothes; some use tissue papers, which are not hygienic just to suppress the condition.
A bwana’s sentiments were shared by Celia Akinyi, another a high school student, who says that most girls are driven to engage in early sex to be able to raise funds for the pads.
She says the cost of accepting the cash to buy the pads from their male counterparts mean engaging in premature sex.
Akinyi thanked the Andre Patrice Carter Foundation, the brain behind the visit by Keerah for the support.
“There are many girls who completely lack these pads, their parents too can’t afford. It is a blessing to have the Foundation,” she said.
She says the donation has saved them from early pregnancies, marriages and contraction of sexually transmitted diseases,” she said.
Akinyi told her teenagers not to fall into temptations by engaging into risky behaviors to get the pads.
“I know some parents are harsh when confronted with the issue of pads but it should not drive us into bad activities,” said Akinyi.
She called for a seamless communication between parents and their daughters to forestall fear among girls in asking for the pads from their parents.
The pads, the girls said, will take them for between three to four weeks before another consignment is sent in.
They say, more often some girls skip school when they are on their periods due to lack of the pads and the donation will mean 100 percent retention of girls in schools.
The widows in the area occasionally meet at the Training Centre to learn about economic empowerment where they learn about skills and ideas on how to confront their daily challenges after the demise of their husbands.
By LTN Reporter