Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Completing the Cycle - Sustainable Menstruation Management at KGSA

Menstruation is a significant stage in the development of adolescent girls.  However, when girls cannot afford proper sanitary products, it can present a number of problems. Here in Kibera, many women and girls cannot afford sanitary pads on a regular monthly basis and are forced to use strips of cloth, tissue paper, notebook paper, or other unhygienic materials.  Studies have shown that when girls do not have access to effective and affordable menstrual management methods, the number of missed school days increases or girls may drop out of school altogether.

For years now, the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy has relied on US visitors to bring large quantities of sanitary pads over, or a donor will sporadically chip in to cover the cost of pads for a few months.  While extremely helpful, this is not sustainable in the long term. However, we think we may have just found a solution.

Over the last month, the KGSA Foundation & the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy have been meeting with Ruby Cup, an organization here in Kenya. Ruby Cup is a healthy, high quality and sustainable menstrual hygiene product made of 100% top Medical Grade Silicone and can be re-used for up to 10 years.  We have decided to officially partner with Ruby Cup providing all of the KGSA students’ access to safe, effective menstrual management methods. 

This Saturday, Ruby Cup will facilitate four 45 minutes educational sessions (separated by grade level) where they will cover topics on basic reproductive health, menstrual hygiene, and how to use Ruby Cup.  Once students return a parental consent form, we will hold an official distribution Saturday, June 30th. In addition, we are extending this opportunity to the student’s mothers and sisters in a separate family educational and distribution session.

Each Ruby Cup costs the KGSA Foundation 700 Shillings ($8.00 USD) per student.  With over 120 students, the cost adds up quickly.  If you or someone you know is interested in helping cover the expense, click this link to DONATE.  Please write Ruby Cup in the memo line so we know where to place your donation.  

Another way you can help us out is by sharing this blog on your social media sites.

For more information on Ruby Cup, check out their website.

Also, check out Sayantani DasGupta’s article on “Talking about Periods: Removing Menstrual Shame for Social Justice.