Health and Education
Social isolation and lack of access to health care prevent healthy transitions from childhood to adulthood, especially for vulnerable adolescent girls in rural areas and urban slums. In Kenya, poor girls often are at high risk of unplanned pregnancy, early child marriage, HIV and gender-based violence. Many drop out of school and are unable to make independent decisions. HIA has worked with community health volunteers, teachers and other service providers in schools and communities in advocating for girl child education and promoting good health and sanitation. We have also trained them on communicating prevention messages and enhancing linkages for health services. Key beneficiaries to our health programs have been teenage girls both in and out of school including teenage mothers and People Living with HIV (PLHIVs). HIA also provides rights based menstrual and reproductive health education in schools and communities. Through trained peer educators we enable young women to lead projects in their own communities and provide mentorship and leadership skills for young girls. safe spaces are created where girls can questions about menstruation and their bodies in general. other topics discussed include menstrual management, reproductive health and hygiene, sexual health and rape. this makes it more effective as through creating a safe space to talk about menstruation we can address and break the silence, taboos and misinformation surrounding women’s menstrual and reproductive health.
This pillar is guided by the following objectives:
- To create safe spaces for young women to discuss sensitive topics and ask personal questions about their bodies
- To expand access to reproductive health services.
- To decrease teenage pregnancy and school drop for girls by strongly advocating for girl child education
- To contribute to the reduction of harmful stigmas surrounding a woman’s body, beginning with menstruation
- To break the taboo on sexual health and make sure girls stay in school through out the year by providing access to Feminine hygiene Products
Menstrual Hygiene Management
Millions of girls and women around the world are subject to restrictions in their daily lives just because they are menstruating. About 52% of the female population is of reproductive age and most of them are menstruating every month. Most of them have no access to clean and safe feminine hygiene products or to a clean and private space in which to change menstrual cloths or pads and to wash. during menstruation, lack of facilities and appropriate sanitary products may push menstruating girls temporarily or sometimes permanently out of school, having a negative impact on their right to education. The time has come to speak out loudly and unashamedly – the role of good Menstrual Hygiene Management as a cause for better and stronger development of women and girls.
The economic empowerment pillar seeks to address the social determinant of health through alleviating poverty among communities. This pillar focuses on MDG 1 to “End extreme poverty and hunger by 2015 and beyond”.
It will be guided by the following objectives to address the needs of young women, girls and youth:
1. To increase entrepreneurship skills
2. To facilitate financial access
3. To increase market access and partnerships