Millennials in Nairobi County have rallied under a recently unveiled Social Media Campaign dubbed Just A Pad, which seeks to provide monthly donations of sanitary towels to women on the streets.
The Just A Pad initiative, which was officially launched on Saturday, was kick started by Winnie Kabintie, a writer and Social Activist, following a feature story by a local Blog that exposed the plight of street women on coping with menstrual cycles due to lack of access to sanitary pads with some of the women featured saying they use old mattresses to contain their flow.
According to Ms Kabintie, who leveraged on social media to draw the support of fellow millennials towards the initiative, “a woman’s dignity should be guarded at all costs; it doesn’t matter if she is poor”.
“I think sometimes we fail to realize that some of these little basic things we take for granted, are actually someone else’s prayer items. And it takes such stories to bring these issues to light. As a woman, the plight of these women really touched home and I knew I had to do something,” She said.
Unlike with typical product launches, which are often set in conference rooms hosted by big hotels and are full of pomp and colour , the Just A Pad campaign took a new twist by debuting at a peculiar location; Jobless Corner, Hilton, which the organiser’s say was symbolic.
“These is for women on the streets, the women who sleep in this same streets even right here at this corner, so what sense does it make for us to hold the launch in a big hotel then walk out and come to the streets to find these women,” Kabintie said.
Jobless corner, outside the historic Hilton Hotel, is a famous spot for hustlers in Nairobi and as the name suggests, the location, which is basically a sitting area next to the busy Kencom Bus Station, is mostly a chill out zone for unemployed people looking for casual jobs. Hustlers seat here hopefully waiting for a phone call to come through with a job opening and over the years, jobless corner has also transformed to a meeting point for residents.
The Just A Pad initiative will rely on donations, both in monetary form and also through the sanitary pads collections, which will be done through drop off containers that will be erected in selected supermarkets. Shoppers can just buy a packet and drop it in the bins.
“We are in talks with the Nairobi County Government to see if they can facilitate the Collection Bills and also the transportation of the items accordingly, and Nairobi Woman Rep Esther Passaris has already showed some support, so we are hopeful,” She said.