Dignity kits keep girls in the classroom

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Kenya (MNN) — Cultural taboos prevent thousands of young girls from continuing their education in Kenya. In remote villages, it is considered shameful to talk about menstruation, so mothers do not warn their daughters about the changes that occur during puberty.

When their first period comes, “girls are completely unconscious; they don’t know what’s happening to them and of course they think they might be dying,” Joy Mueller of Kenya Hope said

“Periodic poverty” describes girls’ lack of education and resources to understand and manage menstruation. “Typically, 65% of young women in Kenya find it difficult to buy sanitary products,” says Mueller.

“[As a result,] she can’t go to school because she has her menstrual cycle and has no way to cope with it. She needs to stay home,” Mueller continues.

“A lot of times these girls drop out of school because they miss so much each month.”

As part of Kenya Hope Girls On A Mission Program, Dignity Kits provide a durable, low-cost solution. Each kit contains ten towels, three pairs of underwear, soap and washcloths.

“The solution we found is very economical; it keeps girls in school and gives them back their dignity,” says Mueller.

A 2014 “Girls on a Mission” cast.
(Photo courtesy of Kenya Hope)

Help introduce young women to God’s plan for their lives here.

Western volunteers “sew washable and reusable flannel sanitary napkins. [The pads] clip on girls underwear. [Since the girls] can wash and reuse them,” the material helps young women stay in class, Mueller says.

Kenya Hope partners with churches and schools in rural areas of Kenya to distribute dignity kits. Believers share life-changing truths with every distribution.

“We’re starting to talk to girls about how beautifully and wonderfully they are made in the image of God,” Mueller says.

“From there, we address the issues of female genital mutilation (FGM), early marriage and early pregnancy.”

The header image shows believers speaking to young female students during a distribution of dignity kits. (Photo courtesy of Kenya Hope)

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