I have a friend I have connected with through the wonders of the internet. We became email & Facebook buddies a couple of years ago after our Sunday school class explored what Christmas is like in Africa. He was kind enough to take time to help answer the many questions my students had at the time. Julius lives in the Kibera slums of Niarobi, Kenya and has been active in volunteering in his community where many needs exist. Check out this video of the conditions people live in there. Even though the words are in Dutch, you can SEE the need. Watch for the train….
Julius recently shared this post on Facebook:
IT has become a luxury to them. To afford IT is a problem. Many end up engaging in pre-marital sex to get money to buy IT. The girls in the slum can’t afford SANITARY TOWELS.
It was one of those comments on Facebook that shot right through the screen and pierced my heart. I simply couldn’t let it slip by without some kind of action. Julius’s comment prompted me to send out an email and Facebook message to friends and family regarding a collection I have begun of “sanitary napkins” (non-scented, non-tampon varieties) for a care package to Kenya or what I am affectionately calling “Operation StayFREE”…
Having never done this type of thing before, I have since learned all the wonderful details about the expenses of shipping, and the taxes/fees the person who relieves the package could have to pay. I trust we will get that part figured out. Right now, Julius and I are working out the logistics of where to send it to.
Imagine my surprise and extreme sense of gratitude, as sanitary napkins keep arriving at my doorstep! It is a subject that really resonates with many women. In fact I have a friend all the way out in Maine who had a hysterectomy last year. She had a large quantity of pads that she no longer needs, and after hearing about this, she has put her pads in the mail to me! She was so excited to know they would be going for such a great purpose. Other dear friends who know me and trust I won’t go on a shopping spree with their money, have generously donated funds for the purchase of more product! We have $195 thus far! Praise the Lord 🙂
I would like to send the care package by 4/9. If by any chance you feel it on your heart to help as well, please go procure some sanitary napkins and get them to me by 4/9! Email me with any questions at Brandie@studiodunndesigns.com . Other helpful hygiene related items are appreciated as well, like toothpaste, soaps, etc.. If it’s easier for you to donate funds I will keep it all in an envelope and use every penny to buy additional product. We are also exploring the best way to transfer the funds to a trusted source in Kibera, so that they can purchase needed supplies there.
This process has really opened up my eyes to the great needs in not only Kenya, but other parts of Africa as well. It’s wonderful to know that there are groups like the one featured in this video, that a good friend made me aware of, who are working to help improve the situation and have a positive impact on the lives of women there.