Photo courtesy of www.menstrualhygieneday.org

Photo courtesy of www.menstrualhygieneday.org

Over 150 boys from different secondary schools in Kibera joined girls from their schools as they celebrated the World Menstrual Hygiene Day last week.

In what was seen as many as a hue shift and a show above the cultural stigma around menstrual hygiene, the boys accompanied the more than 300 girls their various schools to mark the day.

The event that was held at the Kenya Assemblies of God Church in Kibera on May 28, 2015 saw all the girls present benefit from sanitary towels. This years Menstrual Hygiene Day was themed: Let us end hesitation around Menstruation

During the event organized by Garden of Hope Foundation, a non-governmental organization that deals with mentorship and menstrual hygiene for high school students, the students were told the importance of menstrual hygiene and the role of boys in the issue.

As we incorporate the men, we have seen them engage more with the girls in tremendous way. Ironically the boys ask more questions related to menstruation than girls do. Some of those questions include: It is a wrong to buy sanitary towels for my sister? and How does a girl behave when she is menstruating? We have tried to break the silence in some of the words used to refer to periods by constant education to both boys and girls,

said Victor Odhiambo, the Garden of Hope Foundation Director.

Barclays Bank of Kenya who had sponsored the purchase of the sanitary towels lauded the inclusion of the boy child in the discussions around girls health.

We strongly recommend that the boy child becomes part of the menstrual hygiene talk. No girl should ever stay at home because she is in her monthly periods. And that is why as Barclays Bank of Kenya are committed to ensure that all these girls here today and many others access sanitary towels to enable them to be in school, even when they are menstruating,

said Christine Mwai Marandu from Barclays Bank of Kenya.

Some of the schools that benefitted from the sanitary towels include: New Langata Secondary School, New Horizon Secondary School, Strait Secondary school, Calvary Secondary School and Silver Springs Secondary School, all in Kibera, Nairobi.