Last month was exciting for Ruby Cup’s social mission. The main reason: a new pilot project with the well-known organisation Save the Children.
Only in 2015, the work of Save the Children reached over 62 million children directly through Save the children’s and their partners’ projects.
We feel honoured to work with such an outstanding organisation and we are particularly excited to have launched the first Ruby Cup pilot project in Turkana, in Northern Kenya. Here’s what we have to share about this great new collaboration.
Turkana: a difficult region
Children in Turkana, and especially girls, face enormous difficulties when it comes to receiving an education.
Turkana is the largest and poorest region in Kenya and has the highest levels of illiteracy in the country. This is partly due to the pastoralist society and its recurrent droughts, which forces the population to move around making it difficult for children to attend school consistently.
However, Turkana is also a fascinating place. It has the most dramatic landscapes, often described as looking like “the surface of the moon” and Lake Turkana is the world’s largest permanent desert lake and the world’s largest alkaline lake.
Turkana also hosts the Lake Turkana Cultural festival every year in the month of May. It brings together the various northern Kenyan tribes that live on the eastern shore of the lake and all 14 ethnic communities are represented.
Travellers from all over, local and foreign, make the long journey to Turkana (the convoys leaving from Nairobi are becoming longer and longer each year) to attend this colourful event, featuring boat races, sports, fashion, dance and music.
Ruby Cup & Save The Children in Turkana
With Turkana being so exceptional and remote, we were particularly excited to introduce Ruby Cup to girls and women in the region. We were concerned about access to water (users need to be able to wash their hands before inserting Ruby Cup, and to boil it once a month) but Save the Children was able to identify both a day school and a boarding school where the girls have access to the right facilities.
Our trainer Vanessa travelled to Turkana with the Save the Children team and during three days, they visited the two schools, Napeililim and Nameyana.
Fifty girls participated in a comprehensive education programme on the female anatomy, reproductive health, menstrual health management and how to use Ruby Cup. Vanessa also had a chance to speak to the parents of the girls at the day school.
It was a fantastic experience, the girls were excited about trying Ruby Cup and enjoying the freedom of a product that offers them a long-term menstrual health solution.
Following Up with the new Ruby Cup Users in Turkana
Vanessa will travel back to Turkana this month, to speak to the new users, receive their feedback and offer her advice and support. We are looking forward to a long-term cooperation and to reach more girls in this area. Without such great and resourceful partners, distributing Ruby Cups in areas like Turkana would not be possible.
About Save the Children
Save the Children was founded in 1919 by Eglantyne Jebb with the purpose of feeding the children that were in danger of starvation after WWI. Save the Children has been operating in Kenya since the 1950s, providing support to children through a number of programmes. They currently focus on child protection, child rights governance, education, health, HIV/AIDS, livelihoods, nutrition and WASH. Save the Children now has an operational presence in Bungoma, Dadaab Refugee Camp, Garissa, Mandera, Turkana and Wajir and they work through partners in many other parts of the country.