Early 2013 a young, shy but very enthusiastic trainee teacher in a rural school in Bungoma, Kenya got in touch with us wanting to learn more about netball. Joseph Olita joined us on tour in Uganda that year and took what he learnt back with him to Kenya. In the 12 months after his first exposure to coaching, Joseph trained 13 fellow volunteers as netball coaches and they collectively started netball in 5 schools in their home town. We now have over 16 schools playing, and regular training taking place across the county – Joseph has worked wonders.
In Dec 2015 NDT officially launched the “Sanitary Pad Appeal” – to provide the funding for 300 girls in the Kenya NDT programme to receive a pack of sanitary pads each month for the next 12 months.
In Feb 2016 NDT Kenya registered as a ‘Community Based Organisation’ giving it formal recognition as a charity.
Also in February 2016 two students from Kabkara School were selected to attend a week long ‘National Girls Convention’ hosted by the US Peace Corps. Linda and Annette travelled over 500 miles to Meru, Eastern Kenya, to attend a camp equipping them with social, sports and volunteering skills. They had an incredible time and delivered assemblies to the whole school on what they’d learnt.
March 2016 – Six NDT Kenya pupils were selected to represent Bungoma district after participating in the Bungoma West Zonal Ballgames. Over 200 schools were involved and out of the thousands of pupils participating Sheila Omunga from Machakha Primary School (captain) displayed exceptional talent and was voted netball player of the tournament.
May 2016 – We held our first Capacity Building Course to induct new teachers and volunteer coaches. Musa Munyasia, an accredited national umpire led the participants through netball umpiring and coaching. Fred Wanyonyi, our patron gave a detailed presentation on NDT history, programmes, achievements and future plans and Mary shed light on the sanitary pad programme with Regina of Central Baptist Primary School gave her presentation from a teacher's point of view and illustrated how we are geared towards transforming lives.
The use of old rags, newspapers, twigs and leaves has been the method used by generations. Embarrassing moments of leakage and staining, boys laughing and the general feeling of discomfort often means a girl will miss 5-7 schooling days every month. Every school girl deserves to feel comfortable, equal and educated rather than suffering in silence and humiliation very month.
A packet of pads costs 80 Kenyan Shillings (65p) per pack. This is the equivalent of a whole day’s salary for some.
One very inspiring lady, Mary Emoit, (“Aunty Mary”) was determined to tackle this problem in her community. She started using her own funds to buy pads for the local girls so they could go to school and play netball and became a mentor to many of the girls.
This summer (2016) the volunteer tour party had the privilege of meeting some of the girls in our programme and hand over that months’ pads. We had the most amazing, touching and humbling experience hearing their touching stories of how they had stopped going to school when on their period and how their education and life was suffering. Thanks to this campaign, NDT is really helping to make a difference to their lives.
In the 8 months since we started this campaign many more of our players are now attending school, are playing freely and are feeling confident. They are no longer using shirt sleeves, rags, school lesson notes, or leaves as pads.
We recently asked the girls to tell us how receiving pads was now making a difference to them.
Some of the responses we received:-
"I am always comfortable”
"I feel good”
"Boys don’t laugh at me anymore”
"I don’t miss games”
"I can play netball anytime”
"I don’t use viraka (Kiswahili word meaning rags) again”
Our data collection from all 8 schools on our pad project showed the following results:-
I Feel comfortable
I don't miss games/school
I feel healthy
Boys don’t laugh at me
I am able to answer questions
I am happy/don’t feel shy
I am not using rags
No more stains
I play freely
I don’t feel abnormal