Just how do homeless girls cope with their Periods?#CandidConversations-Kenya

I think the Hardest part about being Homeless, is being a Woman!

We live in a world where Sanitary ware is still referred to as a “Non-essential”, “Luxurious” item. Therefore, Pads, Tampons or any other Feminine hygiene product can never be given out for free like Condoms would.

The price of these items is honestly so ridiculous and all attempts to get the Government to eliminate the VAT Tax on some of the products have always been shut down.

To add to that, talking about Menstruation and Feminine hygiene is still considered a Taboo Topic! Mention the word Periods and you will notice people get uncomfortable as their faces Turn Red.

How bizarre that in 2019, the normal menstruation process still makes grown adults squeamy.

There have been a number of people and organizations in the country that have played their part; donating clothes and foodstuff to the homeless. Unfortunately, feminine hygiene products are rarely donated.

The fact that people feel awkward talking about periods and the topic is often frowned upon, means that even those who are able to help, aren’t really aware of the extent of the problem.

For anyone who has ever had to endure periods, you know how really awful it can get. Sometimes it’s messy, uncomfortable and so inconveniencing.

Now imagine experiencing the first day of your period without any access to a pad, tampon or a simple bathroom. It’s a real Nightmare!

I talk briefly with Nduta, a cute, skinny 16-year-old street girl who describes to me how she found out she had just started her periods. Just how does she deal with the experience every month while living rough as a Nairobi Chokora!

 

Her Story

//

“I have had many people interview me. Journalists and Organization Leaders, Politicians even. They ask me, “What do I do when it rains?” I say, “I get wet.”

“What do I do when I have no food?” I say, “I sleep hungry.” 

Simple answer to Common questionS.

But when you ask “What do I do when I get my Period?” That’s a new question.

There’s no simple answer to that. Actually, I don’t think there ever will be.

 I THINK THE HARDEST PART ABOUT BEING HOMELESS IS BEING A WOMAN! 

To understand my story, I need to take you all the way to the beginning.

I was 5 years old when my mum and I run away from home after my dad threatened to drive a knife through mum’s heart. All she managed to grab on our way out was a light-green blanket from her bed.

I remember we spent the first night seated on the bench next to the Hilton Hotel. The next night the security guards angrily chased us out of there, telling us to go sleep with the others at Ambassador. So, we found a dark corner, behind the building and huddled together for warmth. My mother was my rock! Even on the stormiest nights, she’d pull me close, keeping me safe and warm.  Life on the streets was honestly so horrible, but at least I had my mum.

Then one morning, I woke up feeling a little bit chilly. Mum was not by my side. The streets were coming to life, vendors had just begun setting up and I knew she had just left to buy us some sweet potatoes.

“She must have gone to buy us some sweet potatoes,” I thought

“She’ll be back in a few!” 

So, I sat there alone waiting for her to return. The sun rose, and the streets were alive, everyone moving up and down in search of the dollar, but my mother had not yet returned.

A few minutes turned into an hour and an hour turned into almost four hours and my mum was not yet back. Nervously, I made the bold decision to stand up and just start looking for her.  She was probably right around the corner.”

I walked across the road and passed the streets. There was no sign of her. I passed by our usual idling spots and hangout points, but I still couldn’t find her. I walked into the parks, around restaurants to the mosque, behind buildings, through the traffic, between narrow paths, basically all over but there was still no trace of her.

When it got really dark, I really started to panic. “Where was she?” 

One of the women suggested that I return to the place where we had slept the night before. Maybe she was back there, looking for me. “Poor mum, she’s probably worried sick!”

So, I raced to the back of the building, all the way to the corner where we usually sleep, only thinking about how I’d and hug her really tight once I got to see her.

But there was no one there.

The corner was just dark and cold. So, I lay down on the hard pavement and wrapped myself up with our green blanket. The wind began to pick up, the street lights came on and soon enough it was midnight.

The streets were so quiet and so much darker without her by my side. I had never been all alone in a dark corner. I felt so vulnerable, I couldn’t even close my eyes. I missed her so much.

For over two weeks all I did was look for her. I circled the city, again and again, praying and hoping that I’d find her. I never gave up, I searched and I called for her, I asked about her, describing her features, hoping someone would just point to her.

Then one day, a lady approached me and grabbed my hand. I recognized her! One of mum’s friends.

The sight of a familiar face was just so exciting! “Mum must be close”

“Umeona mum?” (“Have you seen my mum?”) I asked desperately trying not to cry.

She looked straight into my eyes and tightened her grip around my arm.

“Wacha kumtafuta!” (“Stop looking for her!”) she ordered, “Ameenda!” (“She’s gone!”)

I stopped for a minute, trying to gather my thoughts. I looked at her and realized that this was hard for her too.

“Alikuacha” (“She left you!”) she added

“Alisema ananikujia lini?” (“When did she say she’s coming back for me?”)

And I watched as her face contorted and her lower lip began to quiver, this was actually really hard for her. “Harudi!” (“She’s Never coming back!”)

And that’s when she explained it all.

Mum had left. She got up in the middle of the night and escaped. It happens sometimes! Some mothers just can’t take it anymore. The hardships, the responsibility. So, she got up and left leaving everything behind, everything including me.

“Harudi kukuchukua” (“She’s not coming back for you!”)

It’s hard to explain exactly how it felt when I realized, mum was gone. 

We were homeless, sleeping on the streets, but I always had my mother. My mother was “home”. It existed within her – and she just left.  

I puckered my mouth. In an effort to stop the tears, but it was useless, tears were already flowing down my dirty little cheeks.

That was the first time I ever got to understand the term “Abandoned”. 

I was 6-years-old.

Chokora Girl Abandoned

I went into survival mode immediately after. I didn’t really have time to feel sorry for myself. A chokora, time to fend for me and survive.

I have lived on the streets of Nairobi for over 8 years.

From a young age, my heart  turned cold as I learned to be more aggressive

On the streets, you witness violence almost every day. I was 9 years old when I saw someone take a bullet and bleed out right in the middle of a riot. The incident left me so paranoid. Every loud bang and sudden commotion would have me trembling in fear.

I’ve seen men get cornered, beaten up and killed for money. I’ve seen women being thrown into a corner and get raped.

I have been tied up and raped by a gang of street boys!

Seeing such atrocities, growing up with the pain, sleeping on the streets, there’s no time to be weak.

I know us chokoras’ are absolutely obnoxious. We fill up the pavement, joking, sniffing glue and pestering strangers for pennies. We can be kind and even soften our voice just so that you can release a coin into our hands.

But really, we are all trying to survive this harsh reality that we call Life.   

I still believe that my mum is coming back for me. And when she does even if it’s years later, she’ll spot me easily.

I sleep behind the same building in the same corner that she left me in and every night I cover myself up with our green blanket. So, when she does come back, she’ll easily recognize me.

LIVING AT THE SHELTER

I can easily recall the first night I got to the shelter. All I had with me was my green blanket and I was just really excited to see mattresses.

For over two years, every night I slept on cold hard pavements and cardboard boxes, even the sight of thin mattresses excited me.

The first few hours at the shelter were undoubtedly exciting. Just the thought of having a roof over my head was exhilarating, I really believed that my cycle for homelessness had come to an end.

The homeless shelter, however, turned out to be a terrifying nightmare!

We were so many of us, all crammed into one hall. So many people with so many different problems all sharing a single hall. It was a simple recipe to a great disaster.

The food at the shelter was often dirty. I wouldn’t say that was a problem really.

While, on the streets, I had been eating anything from the ground and digging through garbage heaps for fruits and food. So dirty food wasn’t too much of a problem.

The problem really erupted when the food served was really scarce.

Whenever meals were served, the hall would turn into something like a battlefield! Everyone struggling to get a plate, a spoon of rice, a Potatoe into their mouth.

It was mayhem!

My slim little frame allowed me to easily slither my way through all the fracas and get to the front of the line.  The older boys would grab my head and slam me onto the floor, so hard sometimes I could taste blood in my mouth.

Looking for food on the streets was definitely easier. At least on the streets, if you worked hard, begged long enough and searched deep into garbage bins, you’d get something to eat.

In the shelter though, you had to fight, to put something in your mouth.

Then there were the uncomfortable nights. The first night I got there, I covered myself with my green blanket but I could not sleep. My skin was so hot and itchy. I felt something crawl up my arm to my shoulder, I tried to catch it, smash it on my skin, but all I could do was hit it down onto the mattress, and that’s when I saw it.

A huge black insect the size of a spider running and disappearing under my blanket.

Quickly, I kicked my blanket uncovering myself and then I spotted thousands of them. Enormous blood-sucking bedbugs, just running around, all over the mattress, over my legs and into my clothes.

I was terrified! I could feel them everywhere. From my toes to my thighs to my back, running and wiggling across my whole back, making circles and digging into my flesh. I had never heard of bedbugs before.

I’ve slept on dirty pavements and on top of garbage heaps, I’ve dealt with terrifying animals, huge insects, stray dogs, and criminals, but these monstrous, blood-sucking insects was like nothing I had ever imagined before.

I needed to pour some water on my back, so, I began racing to the door, but just before I got out, I saw her.  The Matron!

I remember just before we all went to bed, the matron was barking a ton of rules! The fact that I was rushing out of the hall at this hour, meant I was breaking the most important rule.

My feet trembled as I tried to explain to her all I needed was to pour some water on my back. She set her jaw and challenged every word from my mouth with a stern look.

Then she led me outside to the corridor and I watched as she grabbed her long thick black cane from the corner. That’s when the caning began.

The beating which I believe lasted almost 10 minutes, ripped my skin open. I felt streaks of blood run down my buttocks to my legs.

At that moment, I learned my lesson. I’d rather deal with the terrifying bedbugs in silence, than break the matron’s rules.

So, I apologized and began walking back into the room. But she grabbed my skinny hand and ordered me to sleep outside!

That was my first night at the shelter. I could not sit on the ground because my flesh had just been torn apart and I could not stand all night. So, I lay on my stomach on the soil, without my blanket or a sweater.

Just out there trembling and shivering in the biting cold.

There were a number of us outside and I watched as others joined, twitching in pain after been caned.

The next morning, I returned to the hall, back to the bedbug-infested mattress and the first thing I realized was that my green blanket was not there anymore.

I froze!

Then I looked to the mattress on my right and to the one on my left. I looked at the other mattresses, closer to mine.

No sign of it!

I asked everyone around me if they had seen any light green blanket. I walked around the hall, searching under mattresses and all the corners of the hall. I paced up and down the corridor stopping everyone, describing my blanket, praying someone would just point at it. But it was gone!

Tears had already started welling up in my eyes, I was acting hysterical, I couldn’t believe my blanket was just stolen.

Everyone kept repeating,It’s just a blanket, get over it” but it wasn’t just a blanket.

It was the only thing mum had ever left me. Even after all these years, the hope that she’s coming back for me, the thought of hugging her again, that’s all I ever dreamed of.

But now, I felt like my heart had been ripped into pieces. It’s like I had lost her all over again.

Anyway, as weeks passed I just learned to live without my blanket.

The shelter was no longer a sad and depressing place. It had turned into a dark and dangerous place.

The normal blanket and food disputes escalated into rape cases.

There were nights the deafening scream of young girls and women would tear into the silence and there was nothing we could do.

The matron had already chosen sides and the girls were clearly not on the right side.

Any report of a rape case and the victim herself would be shamed and caned, burdened with a ton of chores and she would sleep outside

Then one night it was my piercing scream that tore into the silence.

I remember the incident so well.

I felt a cold hand on my back and even before I realized what was happening, there he was, on top of me.

He slapped his hand on top of my mouth and removed a bright silver razor from his pocket. I had to shut up or my throat would be sliced open.

Then he unzipped his trousers and kissed me as he pulled my dress up. He moaned hard as he penetrated me and all I could do was lie there and cry.

What was worse was that I made eye contact with the girl lying right next to me and there was nothing she could do either. So, I just lay there, silently crying as the man on top of me grinned and enjoyed himself until he was done.

The incident was so mortifying! I remember him getting off me, zipping up his pants and smiling at me as he walked away.

He just casually disappeared into the darkness as if he had done nothing. I pulled down my dress and just lay there for seasons. My whole-body trembling as I cried. Wondering how my life got this messed up.

The next morning, I got up feeling so abused and dirty. And that’s when my anger began to build up.  I made the decision to talk to the “officer in charge”. As soon as I saw his office door open I run in.

I had never been to his office before. It was much smaller than I imagined. The officer was taken aback when he saw me racing in but surprisingly, he didn’t chase me out.

I introduced myself then I just burst into tears. I talked about what happened to me, what has been happening to a ton of girls. I told him about the matron, how she would just sit there and allow men to rape us.

His face slackened, and his eyes darted about in concern.

I thought he was going to cry, but he didn’t. It was an emotion I couldn’t really put my finger on. Sad? Angry? Scared?

I finally got it! He didn’t care.

He stood up, walked to the door and shut it.

Then he approached me, put his hand on my waist and pulled me closer. I was so close I could smell the rum and the cigarette from under his breath. A smell that still makes my insides clench.

Then he stared deeply into my eyes, and that’s when I realized, I was in danger!

I tried to pull away, take a step back, and run. But his lips were already on mine and I could feel his fingers struggle to get between my thighs. I clawed and fought, jammed my fingers into vulnerable spaces on his back, but he overpowered me, threw me to the hard floor and dragged me under his desk.

I screamed begging him to stop, then he raised his hand and landed a hot slap across my face. I felt as if my cheekbone had just broken.

The second, third, fourth and fifth slap made my face feel like soup. He got me quiet!

And just like the night before all I could do was lie there. Lie there as he undressed me, and run his fingers across my body. He wrapped his hand across my neck and squeezed the breath out of me as he penetrated me.

Moments later, when he was done, I got out of the office.

It was difficult to walk so I had to limp all the way back to the toilets. I took a look at my sore face. Both my cheeks were red swollen and my neck had deep scars.

It was an ugly sight.

That night, just before “Lights out” the matron marched all the way to my mattress and ordered me to get out!

A few minutes later she came out with a thick whip, one that I’d never seen before.

She led me to the darkest corner of the compound. She didn’t even mutter a word, she didn’t even take a look at my swollen face. We both knew this was all about.

She clenched her heavy whip and landed 10, agonizing strokes across my back. I remember feeling the whip descend deep into my skin and each time it was jerked out, it left with a piece of my flesh.

By the second stroke, I was begging for forgiveness. I screamed, promising never to mention the incident ever again!

I was so exhausted. All I really wanted to do was to die.

Every night, all we could do as girls was to quietly lay there on our mattresses, like rag dolls, Pieces of contemptible meat to all the men around.

It was mortifying!

One certain night, I woke up really pressed. This was not so unusual, sometimes I’d stay awake all night because I was too afraid to walk to the toilet.

But, this time I just couldn’t hold on. I had to go to the toilets, urgently!

I woke up and quietly tip-toed, muttering a Hail Mary with each little step. When I got to the middle of the hall, I froze. I had just seen something that I truly believed I would never ever see again.

My green blanket!

At that moment so many emotions and memories came flooding through my mind. There it was, right in front of me, covering a much larger woman, who lay comfortably underneath its warmth.

I got closer, took a better look, A harder look. I was boiling in anger.

I reached for my blanket and just frantically uncovered her

She woke up immediately and looked at me as I stood there with the blanket in my hands.

I watched as anger took over her emotions and she got up. Her eyebrows curled against each other, her eyes widened in resentment, and with a lot of frustration she yelled,

“Rudisha Blanketi yangu!” (“Return my blanket!”)

“Mwizi wewe! Hii ni Blanketi yangu!” (“You thief! This is my blanket!”) I barked

She took a step closer without saying a word, only forming a fist with the palm of her hand then swung it across my face. It stung and for a few seconds, my ears were ringing in pain. I staggered backward, clutching my face as my eyes watered.

I looked around, the commotion had already triggered attention across the hall and now, everyone was looking at me.

I snapped! This woman was not going to steal my blanket and then go ahead to punch me right in front of everyone.

In a bloody flash, I charged towards her, pushing her to the floor. I was so impulsive letting out all my anger with my fist straight to her face. I could tell she was in a lot of pain, and I enjoyed it.

The guard burst into the hall, but I did not hear him. I only realized he was right behind me when I felt a thick baton land painfully on my bony back.

I screamed in agony. At this point, it was quite obvious I was probably going to sleep in a cell! I was dragged out of the hall and into the Police Truck.

At least I had my blanket with me.

Getting into Prison!

I got to Central Police Station and I was locked up in a wide cell along with around 7 other criminals.

I sat there on one of the empty benches in the cell. My eyes were darting from one corner of the room to the other. A train of horrifying thoughts racing through my mind.

What if I was raped again? What if this time I’m actually killed? I was so terrified, I could hear my heartbeat!

Before long, my eyes got heavy and it was getting harder to keep them open. Moments later, I just stretched my legs on the bench and fell asleep. That was actually the most comfortable night I had ever had in a long time.

Who knew that my night in prison would be so much better than my time in the shelter. Criminals actually have it better. The Irony!

The next afternoon, I was released, or rather, I was escorted out of the gates and the guard shouted “Potea!” (“Get Lost!”)

I wasn’t beaten neither was I questioned. I wasn’t even fed. I was basically just thrown out, back to the streets of Nairobi. To the streets that raised me and kept me warm.

Finally, Back home! 

The streets of Nairobi are actually not so bad. I was dumped here, I’ve grown here, I play on the streets, I’ve learned a lot here and I’m comfortable.

I think people, we’re creatures of habit. We get comfortable in the most uncomfortable positions, and that just becomes home.  The streets, the dusty pavements and the heaps of garbage, That’s my home.

Chokora Girl Shaved

Getting My Period. 

Now let’s be honest! Every Girl remembers certain milestones in her life. Her first kiss, her first heartbreak, and the most memorable is definitely, the first time she ever got her period.

I remember the first time I saw blood spots on my trouser.

It was a morning just like any other. I got up and took my usual stroll down to Nairobi river. I was going to relieve myself, probably clean myself up, before I walk back to the CBD and scavenge for something to put in my mouth.

I got to the bushes, and as soon as I pulled down my pants, my heart froze!

There were some blood spots staring right up at me from my pants. I just stood there immobilized in fear.

You have to understand, I had no idea what Menstrual Periods was. My mother left before she ever talked to me about my periods. I had never had any teacher. In fact, no one had ever even mentioned the word “Periods” to me.

So, the sight of blood on my pants was very new to me, something I had never ever imagined.

Millions of thoughts were flooding through my mind.

“Did I get into a fight? Had someone stabbed me?”

I immediately started looking for any open wounds around my legs, around my thighs, but all my previous wounds had already started drying up, they were healing.

“Oh my God, what if I was I sick?”

My heart just started beating harder. This must be the worst sickness ever.

“Was I going to die?” How could I just fall asleep, then wake up with blood in my pants?”

Then just as I was staring at my pants, I noticed another blood spot fall onto my trouser and I felt everything around me get dark.

I was petrified! I wasn’t in any unusual pain, I didn’t have any new wounds, I was just bleeding!

How?

I really started panicking, I was crying, frantically!

A few moments later, I noticed another woman seated on the ground, next to the river, staring right at me.

I believe she had been watching me get hysterical the entire time.

Let me not lie, she was really ugly. A lot of the homeless women around here are ugly, but she particularly looked like she fell off a tree and knocked every brunch on her way down.

We stared at each other for a while, then I watched as a quiet smile played across her lips, and that smile just painted a ray of sunshine all over her face.

She waved at me, directing me to approach her and I did.

As soon as I got to her, she stretched her hands and hugged me. This was the first time anyone had ever shown me such affection since my mother.

I blinked repeatedly, again and again, trying not to fight back the tears, trying not to get emotional, but as soon as I lay my had on her chest, I just let it all out. I burst into tears.

I told her I was sick, I told her that I was going to die soon.

I looked up at her and caught her smiling at me. She wiped the tears from my cheeks. Her voice was so gentle and fruity. She reached into her pocket and handed me a bunch of tissue and a 10-shilling coin.

She instructed me to stuff the tissue into my pants, then walk to the public toilets, give them the 10-shilling coin and stuff more tissue into my pants.

I was appalled, everything she was telling me to do was just strange? Was “stuffing tissue into your pants” the cure?

I was a little bit apprehensive. “Had she ever bled before? Is this what she did when she bled?”  I was so confused.

Learning about Periods

In only one sitting, she explained it all to me. She talked about periods, how often they occur, what I need to do when it’s “that time of the month.”

She taught me all about pads and tampons, cramps and back pains, headaches, nausea, vomiting, terrible moods, and low spirits.

All of it! I had millions of questions and she answered them all. I started panicking again and again.

“I couldn’t do it, I didn’t want to have my periods. I just can’t handle it!” How should I handle my periods when I can barely afford to eat?

She calmed me down and explained it all to me.  She said I didn’t have a choice. I just had to deal with it!

There will be bad times and even worse times. But I was a woman now and I had to be stronger than I had ever been.

It was like a whole lesson. A class I felt like I should have attended years ago.

I was so grateful to have met her. A stranger who didn’t owe me anything, a stranger who I didn’t pay a cent, yet her smile and her lessons suddenly made the world a better place.

At the time, I only had one pair of pants, so I had to wash them and wait for them to slightly dry before I could put them on and get into the CBD.

That day, I begged like never before. Stretching out my hand and desperately begging for a shilling. As soon as I got a 10bob, I would race into the public toilets and stuff tissue into my pants.

By night time I had some extra pennies in my pocket. I was extremely hungry and I wanted to buy a small packet of peanuts, but I also needed to get some tissue paper. So, I went into the toilet and spent my last shilling on tissue then I went to bed hungry.

It was the first time I had to choose between toilet paper and some food, but it would not be the last time.

Dealing with my period while I’m on the street. 

I want you to understand that as a teenage girl, even if you spend your nights on the dirty streets of Nairobi or on top of a heap of garbage, feminine hygiene still plays a role in your life.

Sometimes, I want to clean myself up and look good. I want to be a little bit neater, I even want to smell good. But out here in the streets, without a bathroom or clean water. It’s impossible.

There have been a few times I have unconsciously soiled my pants, as I walked around begging.

Some men would immediately shoot a sick and repulsive look before they chase me away, while some women whisper amongst themselves, pointing at me and giggling about my stained trousers as they race across the street.

It’s, so humiliating!

My self-esteem is at its lowest when I’m on my period. I can’t walk or stand for too long because I don’t want to bleed through my tissue. I’m always paranoid that I’ve soiled myself and ruined my only trouser. I half sit and half squat. Too afraid to sit down because I might stain my pants.

I often work during the day. Selling peanuts, sweets, lollipops and chewing gum on the streets. At the end of the day, my “employer” gives me a small cut from the sales I’ve made.

Sometimes if I start working really early in the morning, well before sunrise and I walk all over town, following and pestering everyone, asking them to buy peanuts or gum, I can happily walk into McFry’s and enjoy a packet of chips for 70bob.

But when I’m on my period, I can’t really take part in normal daily routines as I often do. Sometimes, I have no money for tissue or a pad or even food.

So, I just spend most of the week by the river. I only get up and walk to town at night. When it’s dark and no one can really notice even if I soil myself.

I work and earn a few pennies that I spend on tissue that should last me all night.

The Price of a Pads and Tampons

The last time I was at a supermarket was in the month of April.

I got lucky, I had a whole 50bob with me. I planned to buy a packet of pads and maybe a queen cake to enjoy before I go to bed.

I wandered up and down the long aisles until I got to the Sanitary items. At the time a small packet of tampons cost over Ksh.140. Definitely way over my budget.

I got to the next shelf, where they kept the pads and the cheapest packet of pads was around Ksh.50/- to Ksh.70/-.  So damn expensive!

And once again, I had to make a choice. Should I buy the packet of pads or should I get myself something to eat.”

I hardly hesitated. I paid for the pads, and that night I jus t walked from one trash bin to the next. Salvaging any kind of food or fruit that I could eat before I go to bed.

There was a night I got up and realized my period just started. I had no pad, no tissue and no pennies at all.

So, I took a look at my green blanket, the green blanket that I kept so well and so close to me every day, the only thing mum ever left me, and I just had to convince myself to use it as a pad.

I told myself, that I would only rip out a little piece of it from the side. The blanket was so old and so thin, my skinny arms easily tore out a small piece and I folded it into my pants.

A few hours passed and I had to tear another piece off my blanket.

Every time I tore a piece of my blanket, I felt like I had torn a piece of my heart. I was tearing the only physical memory I had of mum and I started to think that once she comes back, she might not recognize me.

In time, I forced myself to come to terms with the fact that mum was really gone! She’s moved on and she probably doesn’t even remember our green blanket.

So, for a long time, I kept tearing pieces of my blanket and using it as a pad. I’d wash the pieces of cloth and as soon as they dried up, I’d stuff them back into my pants.

It was so uncomfortable but it was better than the tissue and also so much cheaper.

Bleeding is obviously not the only part of the menstrual cycle.

There’s the whole process of suffering agonizing headaches, endless sharp cramps, backaches, vomiting, and so many other symptoms. There is no access to any painkillers or any other kind of relief and there’s also no food in your system.

It’s a real nightmare!

It’s hard out here! There women going through a financial strain trying to buy pads not just for themselves but their daughters too.

They have to be creative. Sometimes I approach strangers and if they don’t rudely walk away I can politely ask for a tampon or a few pads. But most of the time I use what I can find.

Dealing with rags, old T-shirts, socks, tissue papers, paper bags, newspapers, posters, anything I can find!

There’s never a good time to have your period. But when you don’t have a roof over your head, food to eat or a bathroom, Periods are just a constant reminder of how worthless you really are!

There a lot of groups, organizations, politicians, friends, and strangers who often help us with clothes and food (Which we are always grateful about) but unfortunately feminine hygiene products are hardly ever gifted to us.

The lack of safe hygienic products leads to numerous infections.

Most of us have just resigned to dealing with the stress, humiliation, and infections every month. The basic act of staying clean which is a major part of feeling human is almost an impossible task.

About Candid Conversations-Kenya

Candid Conversations – Kenya makes it a priority to share different stories and discuss different opinions which often go unreported. We are determined to inform readers about threats, consequences, and solutions based on facts and not political prejudice or business interests. 

This website is editorially independent allowing anyone to share their stories with us. This is vital as it allows us to give a voice to those less heard, challenge the powerful and hold them to account.

Every contribution we receive from readers like you big or small is highly appreciated especially at this time when factual, honest reporting is critical.

Do you have any topic that you would like to discuss or an honest and candid story that you’d love to share? 

Feel free to contact us through

Gmail – candidconversationkenya@gmail.com

Your contribution and dedication to the website is highly appreciated. 

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

ABOUT US #CHOKORACULTURE

The #ChokoraCulture movement would like to ask you to share Nduta’s story on your social media pages. If even one girl could be helped by sharing her story, wouldn’t that be marvelous! 

We have partnered with Family Wellness Centre-Kenya and together we are working on helping the homeless girls and the mothers this festive season! 

We are also looking out for the boys and the men on the street!

We have teamed up with a number of well-wishers and organizations to distribute Sanitary items as well as clothes and foodstuff to the Homeless within Nairobi city and Limuru Town. 

Feel free to drop off any of your donations at 

Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC)
Lower Ground Floor LG9-
JAMES KIMANI GITHONGO OFFICE

You can send any of your contributions to

Safaricom – Lipa Na Mpesa 

Pay Bill Number – 522522

Account Number – 1204222878

Or

Lipa Na Mpesa 

Buy Goods and Services 

Till Number – 529161

Or

Family Wellness Centre Kenya,

KCB Bank, 

Account Number – 1204222878 – KICC Branch 

Visit the site – http://www.familywellnesscentre.org/family-wellness-centre-profile/

For any more Information kindly contact

James Kimani on – +254 722 715424

Angie Wahu on –    +254 724 025115

Email – chokoraculture@gmail.com

Facebook –@ChokoraCulture

 

Author:

#ChokoraCulture is a movement created to raise awareness on the issues affecting street kids in Kenya. What many people do not understand is that we have children getting tied up and raped as they sleep. Young girls are forced into relationships, in an attempt to remain unharmed while others are getting pregnant and going into labor right on the streets. #ChokoraCulture unpacks a lot of their vulnerabilities and their lifestyle as we seek to join a number of Organizations, and Friends who can honestly help us do something. You can join the movement by simply sharing some of their stories on your social media platforms, using the Hashtag #ChokoraCulture. Let us raise awareness and help in any way that we can

15 thoughts on “Just how do homeless girls cope with their Periods?#CandidConversations-Kenya

  1. Sarah
    4 days ago·nderisarahwordpresscom.wordpress.com
    User Info
    Just how do homeless girls cope with their Periods?#ChokoraCulture
    In reply to:Hey there Sarah! Yes, we are looking forward to creating a M-pesa Paybill Number as well as pitching a tent within Nairobi town, where anyone can come and donate with Sanitary Towels, Feminine Hygiene Products and anything else. We would also like you to help by sharing this article on your social media pages with the Hashtag #ChokoraCulture. Thank You so much. Kindly, stay in touch.
    Hey, That’s awesome, tell me when you do. I have shared on pages I manage. I will share more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ladylike
    4 days ago
    User Info
    Just how do homeless girls cope with their Periods?#ChokoraCulture
    This is a really good piece. I have so many questions… Who wrote this? It would be good to read the story of the girl… where is she now? Did she write this or is someone writing it for her? Would she be willing to give details of the shelter and officers? The shelter should be shut down and the officers running it held accountable

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Adelaide!
      Thank you so much for you’re feedback.
      Indeed it is a very touching story.
      ChokoraCulture actually accepts donations and any kind of contributions.
      At this time we are working on providing Feminine hygiene products and Education material to some of the homeless children.
      You can send to,
      Safaricom – Lipa Na Mpesa 
      Pay Bill Number – 522522
      Account Number – 1204222878
      Or
      Lipa Na Mpesa 
      Buy Goods and Services 
      Till Number – 529161
      Or
      Family Wellness Centre Kenya,
      KCB Bank, 
      Account Number – 1204222878 – KICC Branch 
      Your dedication is highly appreciated.

      Like

  3. Thanks for this heart touching and inspirational story, its hard to know e facts of the street until you read a story like this one, its eye opening and i have surely learnt alot from it.How did the story teller leave the streets, how is she now and how old is she?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s