Chebet Charity,20 is the winner of our Menstrual hygiene story 2023. Read her captivating story.


“My menstruation period got me into my primary seven holidays, by then I was just 11 and I had no idea about menstruation.  The pain was too much, the blood flow was heavy, and I was scared and did not know what had happened to me, so I decided to hide behind the house. My dad found me and asked me what had happened, and because of fear, I did not have anything to say. He beat me, thinking that I had had sex and I had lost my virginity, which is why I was bleeding.”

My mother then interrogated me and asked me to speak up and reveal the name of the man with whom I had slept, and that is when I fearfully opened up to her and explained what had happened to me. It was from her that I learned that I had started menstruating. She then guided me through the process of managing and taking care of myself during menstruation.

There are quite several girls in the community and in schools who barely know anything about menstruation. Many of them experience their first periods when they have no idea of what menstruation is like, as it was with me, and have become victims of circumstances. Additionally, even those girls who are already menstruating are scared of speaking about it with friends because, when they do, some friends share it and they are mocked and stigmatized, so they feel embarrassed and shameful, and their male counterparts ridicule them.

I am fortunate that I received some training on the making of reusable sanitary pads, and right now, I am also training other girls in the community and schools on how to make reusable pads on top of sensitizing both girls and boys on the normality of menstruation.

I think the government needs to reduce the price of pads so that adolescent girls and women can afford them and lobby and establish funds to produce and distribute reusable sanitary pads to underprivileged communities.