Bethel Network in partnership with Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) has commenced a programme dubbed Always Keeping Girls in School in Rusinga Island to fight early teenage pregnancies.
The NGO plans to reach 22 counties in its programme which aims at donating personal essentials including sanitary towels and underwear to school-going children both girls and boys.
The objective of the NGO is to advance education and promote health care services by mitigating social ills such as Sexual and gender-based violence, drug abuse, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and teenage pregnancies among the vulnerable and marginalized people.
In the 2020 statistics, Homa Bay County was ranked second-highest in cases of teenage pregnancies in the country, with about 13,644 reported cases.
Speaking at Utajo Primary school, in Rusinga Island within Mbita Sub-County, Robert Kabuga, Programme coordinator Bethel Network said that over 12,000 boys and girls have benefitted from the program since its inception.
“We have managed to reach more than 12,000 boys and girls offering menstrual hygiene management education and life skills, sponsored by Procter and Gamble Company,” said Kabuga.
He stated that so far they have covered 6 schools in Rusinga Island by donating sanitary towels, panties, booklets for life skills, reproductive health and menstrual health management education.
The programme coordinator regretted that boys have for a long time been left out and so the organization has also taken the initiative of including them through the programme by giving them boxers.
On his side, KBC Assistant Brand Manager Alex Karega, said they are mandated to inform and educate the society hence the partnership with Bethel Network.
According to Joyce Kariuki, Government Relations and Programme Manager for East Africa Procter and Gamble, the company has donated over 6 million pads for the last 25 years in ensuring that girls stay in school.
She said their target is to reach 100,000 young girls per year in the 22 counties by donating 3 packs of pads per term to each pupil and boxers to every boy.
“Our aim is to ensure that young girls and boys are educated on self-awareness about the challenges they undergo during puberty,” said Kariuki.