Dignify A Girl is program designed to reach out to the young girls and young woman with the aim of building long lasting friendships with other girls from different villages and communities through mentorship, peer education, and most of all building Christian values that will help them value their purity. Girls and young women facing severe economic shocks brought about by the poverty and lack are more likely to take on high- risk work for their economic survival, exposing themselves to increased risk of exploitation and abuse.
Measures must be put into place to ensure that their situation or challenge is not used to economically and sexually exploit and endanger the lives of vulnerable girls and young women.
Youngsters for Christ team is committed to help and support our girls while shining light on the specific challenges’ they will face during this period by supplying them with sanitary towels each month as well as offering support to them where possible to ease their stress and burden.
Most of the girls in Kibera slums where living conditions are very harsh for example, living with a single parent, either one or both of the parents are drunkards, either one or both have chronic diseases and with no monthly income. With such conditions, it is very hard for a girl-child to go through education or even grow up differently from her peers. Most of the time they are the ones who take care of their younger siblings in the absence of their parents and the environment is just not conducive. Pray and trust God with us.
As much as the boy child is in trouble, I believe that the girl child is also under the same threat as well. Girls in this area do not go to school. More boys attend school than girls, when you compare the numbers in a class.
When the girls leave school, because of obvious reasons, some of them join gangs. You will find 12-year-olds joining these gangs, whereby the men in those gangs sexually assault them and get them pregnant. The other struggle that many girls face is having no sanitary towels. Girls share their pads, and if they cannot afford to buy one of their own, they will use dirty rags. They will make folds and wear them until they are completely used.
How do we help in such a case?
The cost of a single sanitary towel is one dollar, which is way above the average cost of living among many people in this area. Typically, most people live under a budget of one dollar a day, according to various findings. Through our Ladies Outreach program-or “The Dignify a Girl” program, we will do our best to supply towels to these individuals from our ministry centre and through school programs that we go to. On a monthly base we give at least 600-800 packets of sanitary pads. Through sanitary towels we have continued to witness lives being transformed by the power of love to these girls.
With the challenges around we also encourage girls to acquire life skills, that will teach them that they have value and to empower them to earn income from the skills they have learned. Some of the skills we teach them include making juice using local fruits, dress making and cooking among others. Sometimes our work is to link them with local established institutions, especially those where they can learn more advanced skills.
Our school is some distance away — an hour’s walk or more is not uncommon — and getting there from my village often requires crossing difficult terrain,” says Achien’g who was in a recent program and which continues to take place on a monthly base for the purpose of helping to empower the girls and to reduce the stigma around menstruation in the villages and Kibera Slums. “So a girl like me “Achieng” with only a bit of cloth to protect herself is likely to arrive at school in an embarrassing mess. As a result, I simply choose to stay home during my period.”
Achieng’s story is very common, with so many other girls in the villages some Parents often discourage girls from leaving the house during menstruation, even to go to school. Even schools often lack adequate water and sanitation facilities for girls to change their clothes, and even when toilets are available, many girls dread the humiliation they might face if someone finds out they have their period. “Achieng “I wish I can be like other girls that are able to get their Pads in good time so I don’t miss going to school. Because the more we go to school, the less likely we are to experience domestic violence, teen pregnancy and early marriage, and the more likely we are to improve our education