‘Mimi ni msichana’ translates to ‘I am a girl’.
We teach girls and families that girls are as valuable as boys. We provide education to all rescued girls and local families, simultaneously teaching them that a girls’ rights are part of human rights.
Girls continue to be the single most excluded group in our society. They face discrimination and abuse simply by being young and female. Their rights are violated. For the disadvantaged girl-child, especially the orphaned girl child across Murang’a, only education can give them an opportunity to grow, learn, play and realize their full potential.
At St. Michael Community Centre we strive to change the destiny of a disadvantaged girl child/ orphaned girl child by providing comprehensive care which includes: – food, clothing, education and basic health care.
Girls from low-income families receive the least schooling. Girls from low-income families drop out of primary school at low levels. Gender bias, cultural norms, and poor economic backgrounds hamper students from completing even KCPE [Primary School Level].
Circumcision for boys is legal in Kenya. Female genital mutilation is not. It is a backward and ancient practice. Apart from Intense pain, hemorrhage, anemia, wound infection and urinary tract infections there are also long term effects that include painful and blocked menses, urinary tract complications, infertility, increased risk of maternal and child morbidity and psychological effects of FGM ranging from anxiety to severe depression and psychosomatic illnesses.
The practice is fast fading in Murang’a County.
St. Michael Community Centre will combat this practice by empowering and motivating the girl child to achieve their full potential. We will work with the poor and vulnerable community to promote health, sanitation and child rights issues to create vibrant livelihoods where leaders value girls and protect them from abuse, manipulation and forced genital mutilation. Girls learn leadership concepts such as standing up against FGM and empowerment.
We will support and encourage the girl child and their families to attend important life skills training camps to make them more aware of the practice. These training camps are followed by the graduation ceremony as an ALTERNATIVE RITE OF PASSAGE, which is accepted by Murang’a community.
For the poor Murang’a family, you will realize that sanitary products are not a priority. Income for the family is too low to afford the sanitary pads. Hence, providing free sanitary pads to the disadvantaged girl child would be of great importance. This would enable the girl to go to school hence, reduce absenteeism and break the poverty cycle. This would further enable the girl child to participate in sports, engage friends and relationships since she will not have blood stains on her clothes. The girl will enjoy hygiene, safety, education, high self-esteem and dignity.
St. Michael Community Centre will endeavor to source and procure sanitary/menstrual pads which will be provided free of charge to the disadvantaged girl child. We will ultimately introduce re-usable sanitary pad where each girl will be given a sanitary kit which is to support her for 3 years. The girls will remain in school and have a reliable and sustainable solution to their menstrual worries.
We intend to train community how to make the pads. This will involve purchasing various stitching machines and providing a workshop for them within the community. With support to purchase the required materials we can engage the community to manufacture the much needed menstrual pads for the less fortunate girls in our community.