Freeing girls to study
Redempta Muibu, Kenya03/11/2020
Redempta Muibu from Nakuru, Kenya, describes how taking part in the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme in 2015 inspired her to set up the Free the Girl Initiative Project, which provides sanitary pads to girls who would otherwise stay away from school.
One act of compassion continues to have a great impact on my life.
I am passionate about the plight of underprivileged and vulnerable girls, who are forced to stay out of school due to a lack of sanitary pads. I understand the challenges they have to endure from personal experience.
I lost my father as a young teenager. My mother had to be the sole provider for a family of seven children while she had no meaningful source of income. During this time, I encountered menstrual-related challenges that significantly affected my self-esteem, my school attendance and my performance. I was fortunate that the headmistress of my primary school took notice and assisted me with free sanitary pads on a monthly basis.
The kindness and support of my headmistress built my confidence and enabled me to successfully complete my primary and secondary school education, unimpeded by my menstrual cycle.
In 2015 I was privileged to be part of the Caux Peace and Leadership Programme (CPLP) . As I prepared myself for the journey, I had mixed feelings as to how I would interact with people I didn’t know from different countries. Would I be able to fit in? I had a lot of ‘hows’ in my mind.
From the moment I arrived at Caux, I felt welcomed and embraced like family. People openly shared their stories and their experiences of the powerful impact that the programme had had on their own endeavours. I was also blessed to share my first experience at Caux with my daughter, Daisy. It was an important milestone in our relationship and one that left an indelible imprint on both our lives. My experience at Caux continues to reignite my great desire to assist those who are less privileged in my community. This is the reason I proudly and confidently share my story and journey on this platform.
After Caux, and with the help of a social worker, we identified 22 underprivileged girls in the community and embarked on providing them with free sanitary pads on a monthly basis. Within a short time, as the word spread around and the need grew, I realized I could no longer offer this service single-handedly. I brought together a group of eight women friends who embraced my idea. The Free the Girl Initiative Project was born.
Currently, our project provides free sanitary pads every month to 50 underprivileged girls attending local schools. We achieve this through monthly contributions, potluck lunches and from the farmers’ market. We invite friends to our meetings and encourage them to support this worthy initiative.
In the process of providing this service, I identified hygiene management, lack of personal values and confidence as barriers to the full actualization of the girl-child. So the project also offers holistic pastoral care to these girls through workshops on emotional and spiritual development and self-confidence.
The programme has had a great impact not only on the girls but also on the community. A sense of joy and growth spreads within the community, when they see the happy faces of these girls, who are able to fully attend their schools with improved grades and restored confidence. The girls have become role models for their peers.
It gives me great joy to see them diligently pursue their education to attain their academic goals and become successful leaders in both the local community and global community. This motivates me to want to reach all underprivileged girls in Kenya, to ensure no girl stays out of school due to a lack of sanitary pads.
One act of compassion continues to have a great impact on my life. - Redempta Muibu
If you want to be part of an online follow-up conversation with the CPLP Alumni and learn more about Redempta's story on Saturday, 21 November 2020 at 14:00 CET (13:00 GMT), you can sign up through this link.
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