The Samburu Project assist young girls in Kenya, Africa. (Courtesy photo)

The Samburu Project (TSP), a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, demonstrates how widespread of an impact clean water can have. On May 28, they will be participating in the successful international awareness campaign, Menstrual Hygiene Day, for the third year in a row.

Since 2005, TSP has been working with communities in Samburu, Kenya to increase access to clean water with the goal of improving health, expanding education, empowering women and encouraging economic and agricultural growth.

This year, TSP will once again collaborate with PadMad, a Kenyan social enterprise organization that produces women’s reusable sanitary products, to distribute sustainable menstrual hygiene products and conduct a reproductive health workshop for girls in need.

Every day, girls in Samburu and around the world are forced to put their studies on hold to try and manage their menstruation with no supplies or knowledge. This burden can cause each girl to miss up to 60 days of school a year – – the equivalent of two months. To exacerbate this issue, without access to clean water, hygiene and sanitation are nearly impossible. However, with access to clean water, reusable menstrual hygiene supplies become a realistic option, allowing girls to stay in the classroom.

Last year, despite the devastating effects of COVID-19, The Samburu Project successfully raised over $11,000 to provide 1,000 girls in Samburu with sanitary supplies for a year. Also, The Samburu Project and PadMad held a workshop this past December to distribute the supplies and educate girls on reproductive health.

In 2019, the Kenyan Ministry of Health published their Menstrual Hygiene Management Policy in which they identified the following issues regarding water, sanitation and menstruation:

  • Only 32 percent of rural schools in Kenya have facilities where girls can change the products for the period during the day
  • 65% of girls and women in Kenya cannot afford sanitary wear
  • On average, 4.9 days are missed of school every month by girls because of periods
  • 58% of girls living in rural areas can’t afford sanitary pads

TSP has aligned their goals to tackle these problems in Samburu.  The Menstrual Hygiene Day event will build on the momentum from previous years by teaming up with PadMad and supplying another 1,000+ girls with the sanitary pads and move closer to a world where young girls are given equal opportunity.

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