Helping girls stay in school by providing sanitary towels
Freedom for Girls Project
Freedom for Girls (FFG) is a sanitary towel project that was initiated and formed in the year 2006 by Rotary District 9212and Lions Multiple District 411A (both worldwide organizations of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian services on voluntary and philanthropic basis.) In the year 2008, Health Education Africa Resource Team (HEART) came in as the implementing partner. HEART, partnering with Rotary and Lions Clubs (both in Kenya and the US), provides a packet that contains a year’s supply of sanitary towels, 4 pairs of undergarment, and a health education booklet. We also have a full time staff that travels throughout rural Kenya conducting menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) training sessions for both the teachers and adolescent girls in schools.
Rotary-HEART-Lions’ larger 2016 goal is to reach 250,000 impoverished girls with the provision of the sanitary towels package as we work with our partners that are also assisting orphaned or vulnerable adolescent girls. Educating girls is the best intervention to help a country socially and economically in the short and long run. In Kenya, for instance, girls in Secondary School are four times less likely to be HIV+ than their female counterparts who drop out of Primary School, and their children live longer, are better educated, and help beat the generational cycle of poverty. Girls with more education have more money in the future, have less incidence of HIV now, have fewer and healthier children and more control over when they have them.
As of August 2016 178,494 girls have been assisted to stay in school in various districts of Kenya through the FFG program! HEART continues to ensure that girls receive a value added package and have this year launched a ‘new and improved’ product at the same recovery of cost of Ksh. 550 or USD 5.5
Procter and Gamble donated enough sanitary towels to HEART in 2010 to supply 17,000 Kenyan girls with a year supply of Always pads, In 2013, granted USD 75,000 to HEART to distribute sanitary towels to 20,000 girls and carry out a baseline survey on the need for sanitary towels in Kenya. It was a great partnership! Thank you Procter and Gamble!
Soroptimist International took special interest in this project, and collected 12,000 pairs of undergarments for girls in impoverished Kenyan villages. Following this generous effort, Michael Jordan matched this number giving HEART 24,000 pairs of panties to distribute in 2007.
The Hearts for Girls project connects school girls in the United States with school girls in Kenya. For $1 a month, or $12 total, a Kenyan girl will receive a care package including: four pair of underwear, a health education pamphlet, and a year’s supply of feminine pads. This care package allows a girl to continue her studies and not have them interrupted each month. In return the U.S. school girl will receive a handmade bracelet from the students in Kenya. Please click on the links below to learn more about the Hearts for Girls project and to connect your school with a school in Kenya.
• Sponsor 1 year’s supply packet for one girl: $5.5
• Sponsor 1 year’s supply packet for 10 girls: $55.00
• Sponsor 1 year’s supply packet for 100 girls: $550.00