Lynn Gaede on the AFRIpads Seminar in Rionchogu, Kenya
Many things about being a female are universal; the reality of having a menstrual cycle is one. Even with many choices of feminine hygiene products and pain relievers, managing periods is a physical and emotional distraction and challenge. In Kenya these challenges can be life changing. This past April I was lucky to participate in a seminar by AFRIpads, an organization whose goal is to provide a solution to the disadvantages suffered by women as a result of their biology.
AFRIpads was started in the neighboring country of Uganda. The organization produces and distributes an inexpensive, reusable sanitary napkin kit that has the potential for changing the lives of millions of women around the world.
The seminar was sponsored by two of our travel group, Suzanne and Eaar Oden. The five women in our travel group attended the seminar with great anticipation. We had no idea what to expect. The seminar was conducted by an AFRIpads trainer from Nairobi, and the start time arrived with 50 to 60 women seated on the wooden benches of the community center. But we were on Kenya time, so no one really expected the session to start yet!
We waited patiently while women, young and old, and a few men slowly trickled into the community center. So many people arrived we could no longer squeeze more into the benches, and they started standing outside. The trainer demonstrated and explained the use of the pads and ended by handing out more than two hundred kits. The remaining kits were to be distributed to those who could not make it that day.
Lack of effective and affordable hygiene products keeps women from school and the workplace, diminishing their ability to succeed. The need for simple, inexpensive, and reusable sanitary pads brought over two hundred women to the AFRIpads seminar.
Such a little thing and such a big impact.
Education for girls in particular is an important element in solving poverty in rural Kenya. Learn how you can help by contacting us, or learn more about us here on our website.