A while back, Citizen T.V aired a feature named “Periods of shame” explaining the hardships young girls in Marigat, Baringo District in Rift Valley in Kenya, go through during their monthly menses. The situation for the girls in Marigat area in Kenya could not get worse at the time. The young Kenyan school-going girls had to skip going to school during that period. Lack of menstrual supplies is a critical issue of mobility, dignity and human girl rights for all girls all over the world. Inua Dada initiative in Kenya intervened in the situation of the residents of Marigat in Kenya and supplied the menstrual products to the schools in the dry parts of Kenya.
It was shocking to learn that the girls in Kenya who do not miss going to school over this period usually use grass, chicken feathers, goat skin or soil as they cannot afford good quality sanitary products in some parts of Kenya. To add salt to injury, menstruation in most Kenyan communities is a hush shush taboo and cannot be discussed in the open. This leaves the young girls of Marigat in a sticky situation where they cannot ask for assistance from even their teachers of friends.
This feature solicited mixed reactions from the people all over Kenya and led to the birth of the “Inua Dada initiative”. Inua Dada Initiative program in Kenya was aimed at debunking the secrecy around menses as well as providing the girls in Marigat with sanitary towels. Inua Dada initiative was a joined initiative with stakeholders such as African Cotton Industries in Kenya, Royal Media Services in Kenya and Red Cross Kenya.
The First Lady, Mrs. Margaret Kenyatta, launched the Inua Dada campaign in Kenya so as to ensure that the young girls in Marigat area in Rift Valley had access to sanitary towels as well as empowering them via sustainable programmes. The Kenya Red Cross Society rolled out the campaign mobilizing Kenyans to donate sanitary towels in various parts of Kenya. All the Kenya Red Cross offices in Kenya had been designated as drop off points where people could donate sanitary towels for the girls in Marigat in Baringo District. Kenya Redcross has offices in many parts of Kenya including Nairobi, Nakuru, Kirinyaga, Meru, Machakos, Baringo, Eldoret, and many other places. In Nairobi, Kenya Redcross has offices Off Race Course Road on Haile Selassie Avenue, in Highway Estate and on Dagoretti Road in Nairobi.
The African Cotton industries in Kenya donated at least 4,000 packets of sanitary packets during the 2013 Inua Dada Campaign in Kenya. Nationwide, a supply of sanitary towels to last the girls in Marigat for a whole year was collected. The Inua Dada initiative in Kenya will go a long way in ensuring that the girls in Marigat do not miss out on school during their menstruation.