Interview with 1% Club
Just as the project title reads, someone somewhere realized girls from poor backgrounds were missing lessons, simply because they could not afford Sanitary towels! Meet Florence Kamaitha and Evans Muriu, who have a cause to raise funds to set up a factory to reproduce re-usable sanitary towels.
Here is their story
What is the name of your project: No Missing Periods coz of Periods.
School girls at the Maisha Mapya programme
Why did you choose the project : We visited a school in Thika, and the head teacher shared the plight of the girls,. The school unblocks toilets every week, as the girls in the school use pieces of clothes, blankets and chunks of mattresses during their menses. This is very unhygienic, but the bitter part of the story is that most of them cannot not afford sanitary towels, and with everyone around the country trying to raise funds to buy the sanitary towels and donate to the girls, we thought we could come up with a better, economic and hygienic way to solve this problem….re-usable Sanitary towels.
What is the inspiration behind the project: We were informed that some girls miss school during their menses 4 days every 28 days. The same girl will lose 13 days each term because of her menses. In a whole academic year, she will lose up to 39 days, which is 6 weeks of learning time. If we don’t help solve the situation now, we will have drop –outs while still in school and thus the name, No Missing Periods coz of Periods.
How many people are in your team to execute this project: Five people plus volunteers we hope to get along the way.
How do you plan to meet the target amount/Make It Work: We plan an intense fundraising campaign on social media, friends and family contributions plus the help of corporate companies.
What are your expectations after the my1pc campaign: We hope we will create awareness of the plight of Kenyan girls around the world. We hope to raise our targeted amount and we hope to network with members around the world.
Tell us about your group: Maisha Mapya Initiative, is a year old and consists of five members. We sponsor bright students from under-privileged families to access Secondary Education. Currently we are setting up a Music Academy to help children learn to play music instrument from an early age. Another role we play is helping young Kenyans discover their talents and opportunities and use them to fend for themselves.
Best moment in your group: We managed to raise funds online and take the girls who had the highest marks in KCPE from Pokot district to Alliance Girls High School in less than two days. She was about to lose her slot in the school as she wasn’t able to afford the fees.
Your message for all the fans outside there: If girls miss classes because of periods, it is a sure threat to the realization of the gender equity and equality in education in Kenya. It follows therefore ,that Kenya as a country is unlikely to achieve Education for all (EFA) Goals,Gender Parity by 2015 and the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs)
Something must be done by everyone. However little the contribution, it will keep a girl in school and keep their opportunities alive.