First Successful Project…Complete!
Huru International is a really incredible organization that was started in Kenya and has recently spread to Tanzania. They provide reusable sanitary pads for in-school and out-of-school girls who don’t have the means to deal properly with menstruation. Many girls miss school every month because they are embarrassed or afraid to come to school while on their period because they aren’t equipped to deal with it.
I applied for 280 ‘Huru Kits’ (which contain 6 reusable pads, soap, and 3 pairs of underwear all together in a cute blue backpack) for the high school girls in my village. My application was accepted, so my counterpart and I went to Dar es Salaam for a training that encompassed how to teach about female health, HIV/AIDS, and caring for the kits.
Getting 280 of those kits from Dar es Salaam to my village was a complete nightmare, but I don’t want to go into that because this is supposed to be a happy story. Needless to say, several days after leaving Dar, I was finally able to get the kits to my village and do a seminar for the high school girls to teach about what we’d been trained to teach. My counterpart, Monica, taught about menstrual health and caring for the kits, and I taught about HIV/AIDS. We taught each session four times, once for the freshmen, once for the sophomores, etc. We did a test at the beginning and then the same test at the end to be able to gage what they learned from the seminar.
I can hardly put into words how nervous I was about teaching such an important topic to 280 girls who are at a crucial and impressionable part of their lives…and entirely in a different language. They made it easier for me though by being very excited that I was coming to teach (they all know me just from seeing me around the village but I had never taught anything at the high school before this), and they were all very attentive and respectful. They only laughed at my Swahili when I was laughing at it myself.
After the sessions were taught, we distributed the kits. The girls were ecstatic. Overall, it was a challenging yet rewarding experience in which I found myself stretched to the limit of my abilities and placed miles outside of my comfort zone…which are the exact reasons why we joined the Peace Corps.