Companies

180,000 girls to benefit from sanitary pads donation

MPESAPADS2501M

Education CS Prof George Magoha (left) receives part of the 540,000 sanitary towels targetting 180,000 needy girls across the country from M-PESA Foundation executive director Les Baille. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

lynetigadwah_img

Summary

  • Some 180,000 schoolgirls from poor backgrounds are set to receive three packets of sanitary towels each following a donation from the M-Pesa Foundation.
  • The donation made to the Ministry of Education will see the girls get three-month supply of pads minimising absenteeism.
  • The foundation has committed Sh21 million to procure and distribute the 540,000 packets of sanitary towels in a move to reduce the number of girls missing school during their menstrual cycle.

Some 180,000 schoolgirls from poor backgrounds are set to receive three packets of sanitary towels each following a donation from the M-Pesa Foundation.

The donation made to the Ministry of Education will see the girls get three-month supply of pads minimising absenteeism.

The foundation has committed Sh21 million to procure and distribute the 540,000 packets of sanitary towels in a move to reduce the number of girls missing school during their menstrual cycle.

“This initiative will go a long way to ensure our children attend schools on all days of the month,” said Education Cabinet secretary George Magoha when he received the donation.

The sanitary towel distribution drive is part of M-Pesa Foundation’s Sh44 million menstrual hygiene programme launched in December 2020 as part of Safaricom’s 20th anniversary celebrations.

Other elements under the programme include providing 30,000 teenage girls in Murang’a, Siaya and Kilifi counties with sexual and reproductive health education in order to reduce teen pregnancies and improve menstrual care.

“This is part of our commitment as a Foundation to empower young girls, enhance their dreams and eventually make them economically independent,” said Les Baillie, M-pesa foundation chief executive.

In 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Basic Education Amendment Act into law placing the responsibility of providing free, sufficient and quality sanitary towels on the government

The law also compels the government to provide a safe and environmentally sound mechanism for disposal of the sanitary towels.

Two years after the law came into effect, there were concerns that school girls were not receiving sanitary towels despite the government appocating millions to support the programme.

Things became complicated in February 2018 when the project was moved from the Education ministry to the Ministry of Gender.