Our COVID-19 Response for Menstrual Health, Child Marriage & Female Genital Mutilation
The last couple of months, the world has been struck by Corona Virus. This crisis has affected us all differently. Many countries are in "lock down" and most professionals are working remotely while health professionals are working long shifts to take care of those affected by the virus, other frontline workers like shopkeepers, farmers, community volunteers helping to address the impact of the virus. Since the beginning of the pandemic in Kenya we have been addressing menstrual healthcare for the most vulnerable girls in our community. For 5 weeks from our Menstrual Care banks now we have distributed 1,000 sanitary towels ( both reusable & 100% organic Cotton pads), 500 pairs of underwear, 1,000 bars of bathing & washing soap, 1,000 rolls of tissue papers to support a total of 500 vulnerable girls,we hope to support additional 1,000 adolescent girls. We set-up a different distributions systems in the community with the help of our adolescent champions, community health volunteers & The local chiefs. To identify the most vulnerable girls we relied our adolescent girls database, our community networks and girls referrals.
Our efforts to address Menstrual health would mean nothing without the generosity of our community of friends & supporters , who bought the menstrual essentials & sent the to us, transferring Bonga Points in the #BongaforGood to allow us redeem the items in local shops, donating money & skills. We love & appreciate you all, Asante sana. Over the next couple weeks we are looking to partner with organizations & individuals to help develop long term solutions to menstrual health for the most vulnerable girls during the crisis & post corona virus since most of our girls still come from very vulnerable homes who will prioritize other basic essentials & rebuilding their lives. Our efforts have been highlighted on local media & Ashoka read it here.
During distribution of the menstrual essentials we use these platforms to identify girls at risk or affected by Child Marriage, Female Genital Mutilation, Sexual Exploitation & abuse. We have also set up a Whatsapp group of community health volunteers & young women champions to coordinate efforts to monitor these cases to ensure they are reported & follow -up is made. By end of April we have intervened of 15 cases of attempted Child marriage & following up on 20 cases of child defilement. We are afraid of how many girls, children & vulnerable women are at risk of violence and we wont get to help them because of isolation.
This comes at a time where the Kenyan government under the reported an increased in cases of sexual, child & gender abuse across the country and following caution from Feminist Organizations & professionals highlighting that epidemics like other crises situations make existing inequalities & discrimination worse. The consequences of the Corona Virus on Child Marriage, Female Genital Mutilation, Sexual, Child & Gender Based violence has bee addressed by a few organizations.
We are Global Giving Partners
We are extremely excited about this milestone, thank you very much to everyone who support our efforts, we join a global network of changemakers. . We signed up with Globalgiving afew months ago as an effort to diversify our funding, in March we received an invitation to participate in March Globalgiving accelerator program. The challenge was to raise USD 5,000 from 40 donors, in 15 days. We raised a total of USD 2,500 with 80 donors and became eligible to be Globalgiving partners. We are still required to reach the USD 5,000 mark. Please join in & support us by donating direclty to our Globalgiving Campaing here. Full details about the project are here.
Our Commitment is to utilize every little penny to reduced the risk of girls to be subjected to FGM & ultimately End FGM especially now during this time of crisis. Due every three months, we will share short project reports they are narrative updates that show you our donors the impact made possible by your support. They will be posted on the GlobalGiving website as well as emailed to you. Please support us by donating here.