Emergencies Due To Covid19

June 1, 2020

Today is a public holiday in Kenya; we are celebrating Madaraka Day (Independence Day). It has been 57 years since we attained internal self-government. Madaraka Day is the day we celebrate our freedom. Unlike previous years where there were bright colors and pomp displayed at the celebrations, today the activities were significantly minimized due to the impact of Covid 19.

This past week we also celebrated Menstrual Hygiene Day. The news featured communities in the slums where it has been reported that some of the girls are selling themselves to men so they can obtain money to buy sanitary towels and other personal supplies. As much as the government is trying to support the slum dwellers and other marginalized groups, the demand is too great, and the outreach extends to only a small fraction of the needy.

Our Pokot girls are reporting the same challenges; they feel obliged to buy sanitary towels for girls in their community who do not have access to them. The support from our girls is limited, however, as they are not able to get their allowance from the schools at this time. One of our Valvisions Scholars has been going to the villages talking to the teenage girls, pleading with them to agree not to get married off because of the hard-economic times the country is facing. She reports back that most parents are feeling desperate and will readily have their daughters cut and given away for marriage in order to survive.

Menstrual Health Hygiene News.


Our Scholar recognizes that talking to the girls has more of an impact than speaking to the parents. The girls relate more to a female who has a success story and is a part of their community. She talks to them from a point of knowledge, herself having once been a girl at risk of FGM. During one of her visits, she unfortunately, met up with a boy who had been shot by cattle rustlers. She called me panicked and in tears. I was able to calm her down and assure her that the boy would get help. I sent airtime to her cell phone, and she was able to contact the local authorities who came to help the boy.

Boy shot by cattle rustlers.

I have been given a few suggestions on areas where we can help during this crisis. I will apply for a letter from the government that will allow us to engage in field work for essential services. The distribution of sanitary towels and other outreach programs are considered essential.

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