Dear KURA Project Friends and Supporters,
It has been another productive year for The KURA Project as we continue to improve educational opportunities for underserved students in northern Kenya. Thanks to your support this year, The KURA Project has been able to accomplish the following in 2015:
- Received a second grant from the Tides Foundation and Lunapads, allowing us to purchase another 1,000 AFRIpads kits and upping our total distribution of reusable menstrual kits to 3,000;
- Delivered 1,000 reusable menstrual kits to Bori Primary School, St. Mary’s Primary School, Kiwanjani Primary School, SKM Primary School, Nomadic Girls School, Logologo Primary School, and Kamboe Primary School;
- Awarded secondary school scholarships to eight students who would otherwise not be able to continue their education;
- Launched our website — www.kuraproject.org — thanks to the generosity of Galen Mooney and Success Measured; and
- Partnered with LOLA: The Dartmouth Chapter of The KURA Project has begun fundraising in collaboration with LOLA, a Dartmouth alumnae-founded tampon subscription company.
Looking forward, our goals for 2016 are
- To purchase and deliver 1,000 additional AFRIpads kits;
- To deliver underwear and detergent to the students who receive our pads; and
- To add five students to The KURA Project Sponsorship Program, guaranteeing 15 students education through secondary school.
Lastly, this winter Sarah Hadden traveled to Marsabit County to assist in the delivery of menstrual pads and to collect information on the impact of The KURA Project in the region. For those interested, Sarah has provided an account of her experience in the pages that follow.
Please accept our most heartfelt thanks for your support. It is because of your actions that we are able to provide the resources needed for these students to continue their education and improve their communities.
Your friends at The KURA Project
Sarah Hadden’s trip to Marsabit County
Marsabit County suffers from a shortage of food, access to water and sanitary systems, drought, and loss of livestock. Consequently, sanitary products for women are largely unaffordable for most. This problem, however, is not only economical. Given the low value placed on a woman’s role outside the home, providing women with sanitary products is simply not a priority for the vast majority of families.
Having spoken with the women we help and with our sponsored students and their family members, I have seen firsthand how a community suffers as a result of poor educational opportunity. And I have seen how a community suffers when half of its population endures gender-based oppression: women are systematically denied the right to an education and, thus, to contribute to the bettering of their community because their basic hygienic needs are not met.
But I have also received letters, handshakes, hugs, and jewelry, along with tears of appreciation for The KURA Project’s role in addressing this problem. By providing young women with reusable menstrual kits, awarding promising students with secondary school scholarships, and, as a result, greatly increasing school attendance, The KURA Project is successfully advancing future opportunities in this underserved region.
I therefore offer you the following information on the impact The KURA Project has had on Marsabit County:
- At Korr Primary School, Deputy Headmistress Rose Dabalen reported that absence of female students has decreased significantly. Before The KURA Project’s donations, 50 percent of her female students would miss up to one week of school each month; that number has since dropped to 10 percent.
- Logologo and Kamboe Primary Schools report similar results, all claiming that attendance of female students has increased significantly in response to The KURA Project’s efforts.
- According to Headmaster Abdullai Warsame of Logologo Primary School, The KURA Project’s efforts have been so successful at his school as to allow for a greater number of female students than male students. Headmaster Warsame reports that 330 girls and 280 boys attend Logologo.
Despite these promising results, poverty and a lack of resources remain issues for our target communities. Our students and their family members report that difficulty obtaining underwear and detergent to wash their pads and underwear impede their abilities to use our products hygienically. Our pads cannot be used without underwear, which costs 100 - 200 shillings (or $1 - $2 USD). Given the conditions of drought previously explained, such an expense is unfeasible for most families.
In closing, I would like to ask for continued support both financially and through community awareness. Your support goes a very long way: 100% of the money we receive goes directly to the purchase of reusable menstrual kits, underwear, and detergent for cleaning. You are making an incredible difference, and I hope you will continue to do so.
Donations can be made on our website at kuraproject.org or by check to:
The KURA Project
P.O. Box 505
Manchester, VT 05254
“If you want to go fast, walk alone. If you want to go far, walk together."