COSARAF Foundation tackling period poverty, as part of wider support for Shamakha Foundation in Mombasa, Kenya.

Period poverty is a global issue affecting women and girls who don’t have access to safe, hygienic sanitary products, and/or who are unable to manage their periods with dignity, sometimes due to community stigma and sanction.

Foundation Chairman Haroon Sheikh, Treasurer Akbar Sheikh and CEO Jonathan Freeman undertook a monitoring visit to the Shamakha Foundation in September 2019.

The Shamakha Foundation is a community-led project in Kenya, to support starving families. The COSARAF Kenya Feeding Stations provide much-needed food support to women and children in need on a daily basis, with some 470,000 plates of food having been provided.

During their visit, the Foundation team met with Mercy, who works with a local NGO providing advice to the community on relationships and sexual health issues. Mercy was working with a group of young men and women from the village, and the Foundation team spoke to them about the value of these sessions in discussing issues which are too often considered taboo. In their discussions, the Foundation team asked Mercy and the young people involved whether there was any additional support which they needed. Mercy and the group were quick to answer that there was a real shortage of sanitary products for the women.

As result of these conversations, the Shamakha Foundation has commissioned Mercy to deliver information and advice sessions in the village on hygiene and health issues, coupled with distribution of free sanitary products. It is hoped that these sessions and the distribution of free sanitary products will become a regular part of the Shamakha Foundation’s programme of support and development for the community.

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