Our initiative to help girls in Kenya have dignity during their period is very important to us and to our clients. It was Catherine’s idea (co-founder and COO). She is usually out in the field creating rapport with the artisan community and coordinating Sawa Sawa’s efforts. She saw the need and the dire consequences that came with period poverty.
When a girl in the village has her period, she misses a week of school. She cannot compete with the boys and most can’t keep up. She eventually drops out of school and becomes another mouth to feed. Her parents marry her off in her teens in exchange of dowry. She has children long before she is ready with a man who views her as property. She does not have access to good health care or choices for her life. She gets stuck in a poverty trap and is an old woman before she is thirty. The cycle repeats itself when she has a daughter.
With our #endperiodpoverty initiative, she is able to stay in school longer, grow up physically, emotionally and mentally. She gets to choose what happens to her. She escapes the trauma of period taboo and shame. If she chooses to have a daughter, she will have a healthier life and contribute to her community. Educating a girl and helping her stay in school solves most economic and health problems affecting Kenyan women.