Against this background, the Kenyan Priest said that he decided to go beyond purchasing sanitary towels for a few ladies and instead donate to school-going girls.
“I approached a number of friends and asked them to send money to buy the pads. I managed to get Kshs.5,000 (US$50) and bought 6 cartons of pads each with 16 pads and gave them to 95 girls, in class 6 and 7, at St. Dominic Kianja Primary School,” said Fr. Makagutu.
He looks forward to continuing the donation of pads to “girls in rural primary schools in Kisumu,” he said, adding that he hopes to provide the girls with reusable pads or menstrual cups, which can be used for a longer period of time.
During the Wednesday, June 2 interview, the Priest ministering at St. Dominic Kianja Catholic Parish of Kisumu Archdiocese said that he will also be giving boxer shorts to boys during the monthly donations.
“The girl child has been motivated a lot and the boy child is being left out. So, I decided that while I will be giving pads to the girls, I will get at least two boxers for the boys,” he said, adding, “It is important to do this for the boy child because if they feel left out, they may do some things in revenge, just because they feel the world does not take care of them.”
Fr. Makagutu spots a gap in the initiatives undertaken by the Kenyan government.
He said, “What the government is giving us is how not to be pregnant by telling them how to use condoms without telling them how to abstain from sex. Parents are also giving their children contraceptives. There are other risks that come with sex including Sexually Transmitted Diseases and the children should know.”
Fr. Makagutu also said that it is important for men to be involved in matters of menstrual hygiene.
He explained, “We have a culture where men do not know about menstruation or what happens to women but this is a reality. Some ladies fail to go to work when they are on their periods because of issues such as cramps and the male bosses will be wondering why. We see the change of moods, but we men do not understand anything.”
He continued, “I have seen some of my female friends cry because of cramps. This is something I can only imagine. And yes, it will happen only for some few days but after some 28 days, the pain will be back. Men must understand all these factors.”