Wednesday, February 26, 2020

KISII REPORT - A PROBLEM YOU NEVER THOUGHT OF

Here is a problem of poverty that you have never thought of:
 
I need to write about a problem that our girls at the orphanage face, along with most girls who live in poverty areas of Kenya. So common is it that there is even a term for it.

They call it “period poverty.” That is the situation of being unable to attend school because of lack of funds to buy sanitary products.

It was one of the things that made a significant impact on me during my first visit. With the small amount of money that I brought with me, the one item that the pastors bought for three or four of the older girls were packets of sanitary pads.

The inability to be able to obtain sanitary pads is a real challenge to young women of poverty areas in schools throughout Kenya, and it is a challenge that extends also into their working years. Because of the inability to afford sanitary products, during their days of menstruation they need to miss days of school or work.

Many girls in their late teen years are still in some of the earlier classes of primary school, not because of lack of academic skills, but simply because they have had to miss so many days of classes.

Even without this consideration, school attendance for the poor children is already a luxury. Many children drop out of school for one or two years at a time because their families cannot afford to send them.

The purchase of sanitary pads is yet another obstacle for these children, and girls do various things to help themselves during these monthly episodes—some of them unhealthy things. Many girls fashion bits of cloth to make pads, which can be washed, but then they also share them with other girls who do not have anything. The pads may appear clean, but they are not sanitary. In a country where HIV infections are common, this can be a life-threatening practice.

And of course the high-school aged boys do not help the situation. They mock the girls and show no empathy at all for the difficulty that they are facing.

According to research by Kenya's Ministry of Education, girls lose on average four school days every month, which translates to two weeks of learning each term. Over four years of high school, they lose on average 165 learning days.

But even that is not the worst scenario. The situation is yet another strain on already impoverished families and many girls resign themselves to not attending at all. A packet of sanitary pads cost about one dollar in Kenya, according to what I was able to determine. That is more than many families in poor areas of Kenya make in a day. When the families cannot even buy food, it is easy to see why buying sanitary products for the girls is a low priority.

As more of our girls at the Log Church Orphanage are at the age when they are entering into secondary school, this is becoming an increasing need. By the grace of God, we are trying to give these children as much of an opportunity as we can to excel in life. It brings up many challenges that none who read these words have probably ever faced or even thought about.

We look to the Lord. These are His children and we pray several times daily that he will care for their many needs, this being only one.


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If you would like to help the children of the Log Church Orphanage of Kisii, Kenya, you may make your check out to “The Log Church” and write “Orphans” on the memo line.
 
Send it to:
The Log Church
PO Box 68
Tripoli, Wisconsin 54564
 
Every nickel given in this way will be used for only aid for the orphans. It will be used for purchasing food, clothing, schooling, and other necessities of living. Nothing is held back or diverted for any other purpose

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