World health day 2022 – an amboseli outlook

7 April 2022


On World Health Day, Born Free Kenya’s Ivy Malemba reports on the newly launched Feminine Hygiene project in Amboseli, which helps over 350 adolescent girls avoid missing school during their period.

Can you imagine missing school due to lack of sanitary pads? This is the unfortunate situation for many adolescent girls living in Amboseli and most parts of rural and remote Kenya.

This necessity is lacking in many areas, and it is not uncommon to see many urban dwellers conduct drives every so often to raise funds for sanitary pads donations. 

On 7th December 2021, Born Free launched the Feminine Hygiene project in Amboseli, to help keep over 350 adolescent girls in school, improve class attendance and prevent them from early pregnancies and marriages. Among the schools which have already received our support are Matepes, Iloirero, Olmoti, Olgirra, Enkii, Enchorro Enkai primary schools and Lenkisem and Olmapitet Manhae secondary schools. We are supporting their welfare and basic education needs as we educate them on the importance of conservation awareness.  

These children face several challenges including: 

  • Harsh living environments typical of ASALs
  • Human wildlife conflict, 
  • Inadequate school infrastructure and resources like desks and books
  • Insufficient food due to drought and poverty
  • Lack of role models and cultural barriers to education and academic attainment

“We are supporting their welfare and basic education needs as we educate them on the importance of conservation awareness.”

Other challenges these girls, other students and their communities face, include habitat degradation and fragmentation
due to land use changes, and cultural barriers to academic performance and development.

The Born Free package includes an annual supply of disposable or re-usable sanitary towels depending on a girl’s particular needs, a bar of soap and a small bucket and two pairs of knickers per student. The package is accompanied with a menstrual hygiene lesson, that will inform the girls and dispel any myths, stigma, and taboos surrounding menstruation. The project will support school going girls with the most ideal menstrual products for their circumstances and needs; and introduce and explain how to use disposable and reusable sanitary pads while considering sustainability.