July, 2015 was definitely one of the greatest months for us here at Msichana Empowerment. We had the pleasure of working with volunteers Tomomi and Yasuka from Japan. We worked with Tomomi an amazing young woman for a period of about one month then joined by Yasuka for about a week as she visited Kenya from the United Kingdom.
At the time we were involved in menstrual hygiene management training for young women and girls through the making of reusable sanitary towels through making use of readily available materials. We visited ten villages meeting 20- 30 girls and women for each session consecutively, reaching about 1500 women and girls with the alternative reusable sanitary towels.
The women and girls were taken through a six step process of making the towels and TA DA……… they were ready to make and use their own sanitary towels. Despite the great effort from the women and the girls accessing the materials was a major problem since most of them lived in abject poverty, through the training we were able to provide the materials but it’s quite a big problem to sustain it.
However 90% of all the women and girls we worked with expressed confidence in trying out the new alternative as it gave them relief as opposed to the rags, mattresses, leaves, pieces of paper and cow dung that they used during menstruation.
We hope that this is an initiative that we can still push forward as we coming up with better innovative ways of managing menstruation while also breaking the myths and taboo around menstruation in our community.
Of course it wasn’t just boring work stuff the girls had a great time visiting the nearby border town ( at the border of Kenya and Tanzania) and the best part about volunteering with us is you get to live with a host family to experience our culture first hand.
Thank you Tomomi and Yasuka.