World Population Day came into being in 1989 and the initial aim was to raise awareness of population issues. In 2020 the focus is on the pandemic and how this is affecting different aspects of communities.
Like all countries affected by Covid 19 Kenya has had to lock down, schools are shut and the support that children, especially young girls, had has disappeared. Unfortunately periods have not disappeared and we are aware that girls in poor rural communities are still vulnerable to exploitation. It has been reported that teen pregnancy has increased during the pandemic and Busia County, where we are working, has seen 2100 pregnancies in this group, between March and June this year. Anecdotally there is always a spike in births 9 months after the school holidays but this rise is above average. We know that girls are having sex to raise money to buy essentials like food and pads and this is something that we are aiming to be able to impact positively.
The Power of Pads project has already given one grant to help develop a small business in Busia County. Friends of Buburi’s aim is to support more women to start small businesses making pads and for us to also buy some to donate to school girls. This will reduce gender inequality, and it has been shown that educating girls has a positive effect on family size.