Keep Deaf Girls In School ByDonating Funds for Sanitary Pads
Amina, a 14-year old Deaf girl, found out she had gotten her first period when a classmate told her she had stained her dress. No one had explained menstruation to her. She didn’t understand why she was bleeding or in pain. “I didn’t know how to wear a sanitary pad” she said.
One of Amina’s teachers explained that periods were normal. Because she’s from a poor family background, a generous teacher gave her underwear and pads, showed her how to use them, and then checked on her every day.
Amina’s story is a perfect example of how Deaf women and girls are also at risk for period poverty. The cost of sanitary pads and tampons is about $3 a month. However, about one in three people in Kenya live below the international poverty line of $1.90 per day. Depending on the type of disability, some Deaf women and girls may require more expensive menstrual products such as period underwear. Managing menstrual hygiene can be further complicated by the need to rely on others for changing sanitary pads and bathing or for access to water and other sanitation amenities.
The lack of sanitary products for Deaf girls often results in schoolgirls missing classes during their menstrual period.
“Due to lack of livelihood opportunities, families cannot afford to buy sanitary pads. Therefore, many Deaf girls are not even sure of how they are supposed to handle and manage their periods."
These challenges faced by Deaf female students do not only impact negatively on their participation and performance in school but also take away their dignity, self-esteem, and self-confidence. Their major fear is possible leakage, which attracts teasing from male students. To avoid this, girls may opt to miss school during their period.
The donation will support a one year's supply of sanitary pads and underwear. These will be distributed to over 3000 Deaf girls in both primary and secondary schools therefore helping them to remain in school during menses. As a result, Deaf girls’ school attendance and academic performance will improve over the years. Their dignity and self-esteem will be restored.