Stop the Spot
Providing Equal Rights for Girls in Africa
The first principle that Future in Our Hands-USA operates by is equal rights for everyone. Because of a lack of access to sanitary pads for girls in many parts of East Africa, young women are unable to attend school full time due to their menstrual cycle. Girls who are absent for just four days out of the month can result in two entire weeks of missed school per term. This can put girls at a disadvantage as it can be difficult to catch up after missing consecutive days of classes. Consequently, the dropout rate for girls is higher than that of their male counterparts largely due to this matter. In order to help put a stop to this ongoing problem, Future in Our Hands-USA has created Stop the Spot, a program which empowers young women by providing the proper feminine hygiene products needed for them to be able to continue attending school.
This issue is not merely about supplying sanitary pads for girls in Africa. The focus of this program is to empower young women with the rights and dignities they are entitled to. Many girls opt to stay home during this embarrassing time rather than expose themselves to ridicule. After all, without decent protection, a spot on a girls skirt can result in a scar in her self-esteem. Cultural barriers in terms of education have resulted in little discussion about this delicate issue. Many young women come to this point in their life without knowing what to expect, or how to deal with it. Future in Our Hands-USA is doing their part to put a stop to this biased problem.
Providing Sanitary Pads for Girls in Africa
Right now Future in Our Hands-USA provides sanitary pads for girls at Kanymedha Mixed Secondary School in Kenya, Africa. The program, which started off as a small venture, was so well received that it caused not only an increase in students, but also a shift in the demographics of the school. Typically, there are more boys than girls in African secondary schools. At Kanymedha, however, the school has an even ratio of boys to girls. This is largely due to the availability of pads for the girls and the obvious desire by young women to be involved with such a program. Stop the Spot facilitates not only education about this matter, but also the means to stay in school the entire month.
Future in Our Hands-USA plans to continue its efforts at Kanymedha Secondary School and has expanded the program to Usoma Primary School. With sufficient funding the program will be expanded to additional schools. With your help, this initiative can reach its full capacity and provide truly equal opportunities for girls in Africa.