By Zainab Mohammed
Nanyuki – Andrea Heltcher, a hotel owner in Nanyuki has been running a free sanitary pad campaign in her hotel for more than five years as a way of fighting period poverty.
According to the Kenya Demographic Health Survey of 2014, roughly 1 million girls in Kenya miss out on education each month because they are unable to afford menstrual products. This translates to 1 in 10 girls or at least 65% of the Kenyan women population.
“We have provided you with a free sanitary pad should you need it. Only pick one so we can provide for other women in need”, reads a board in the ladies’ washrooms at the hotel. This is Andrea’s passion project away from the hotel to make a difference in the fight against period poverty.
Free sanitary pads in hotels is not a new concept in the West, however in Kenya, it is as rare as it gets with the most common free commodities in bathrooms being free male condoms.
This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Zainab Mohammed and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.