Published
March 18, 2019

Naomi could not attend school due to her fear and shame. Your gift can transform lives like hers!

Joy Kauffman, MPH

For many African girls, their entrance into puberty often leads to their exit from school. Shame and fear make attendance during their menstrual cycle not an option, so they fall behind and drop out in large numbers.       From that point on, their future is bleak.

Girl that are school drop-outs often become teen
mothers, perpetuating the cycle of poverty for children.

 

Can you imagine your daughter or granddaughter facing that horrible situation?

With your gifts, FARM STEW can change girls’ future, just as Jesus transformed the fate of a bleeding woman who reached out and touched the hem of His garment. Jesus called her “daughter,” and made her well.  

Your gifts have helped 3,100 girls like Sarah and Naomi (you’ll meet on the next page) in similar ways.  It’s part of Sanitation, the “S” in the FARM STEW recipe for abundant life.  

Last week, to make sure we are truly helping, our team drove an hour down shrinking dirt roads that lead to the Nawankwale Primary School.  Benon Waluube, the headmaster, greeted them warmly and thanked FARM STEW (and YOU) for providing pads and training for 71 girls in April last year.  

Benon happily showed us the enrollment records for two years demonstrating that enrollment has increased from 70 to 85 in the 6th grade and from 36 to 47 girls in 7th grade.  He said the increased enrollment and attendance were a direct result of the pad distribution and training that your gifts to FARM STEW made possible.  In our recipe of abundant life the letter “S” for sanitation, is working!

But that wasn’t good enough!  We wanted to hear directly from the girls! Has their life changed?

Betty Mwesigwa, a FARM STEW Ugandan Trainer, and Tamara Schoch, a FARM STEWVolunteer, met with a group of 25 teenage girls and one female teacher.  At first, the girls were very shy, but slowly they started to answer our questions.  

 

Naomi spoke up first, sharing that in the past she used old cloth that would cause “burning,” (probably from a urinary tract infection that 24% of Ugandan girls experience).  She would have to be careful how she moved for fear of the cloth moving or falling.  Then Sarah shared that if there were ever a leak, she would be horribly mocked, so she made the logical choice to stop attending school during those days.

 

We asked all the girls to raise their hands if they stayed home during their cycle before getting pads.  

Almost every hand went up.  They were missing out, just because they were growing up. Tragic!

Then Naomi shared, with a big smile, that her new pads that FARM STEW supplied are comfortable and don’t cause the burning. She can wear one pad, and bring a second, and can discretely change as needed.  The girls said the pads are easy to wash and dry quickly.

Now Naomi,Sarah, and their friends  can even participate in PE class without fear.    

The teacher doesn’t know who is on her cycle. Praise God, that is how it should be!  

 

The girls are coming to school free from shame, due to your compassion!  This act of kindness convinced them that they are loved, by God and people like you!

 

Their lives, and education matter! Only 25% of Ugandan girls and even less inSouth Sudan, attend secondary school. The results are evident, only 62%of Ugandan and 16% of South Sudanese women can read. Higher education directly correlates with a 30% lower rate of having malnourished children.[1]   If we can help girls get an education, they can feed and transform the nations.

 

The pieces all fit together in FARM STEW’s recipe of abundant life.  Will you continue to share it?

 

Based on your generosity, we developed the following plan to expand this effort:

  1. Buy 3,000 DeluxeMenstrual Kits containing three Maxi pads, one Super Maxi pad, and a discreet carrying bag.  They are washable and last over a year. All are made in Uganda, creating employment for over 200 women in good jobs.  This combines our commitment to sanitation and enterprise, two key ingredients in FARM STEW’s recipe.
  2. Buy 6,000 pairs of underwear because we learned that many of thegirls don’t have panties!  Using padswithout them is impossible. These deaf group at the Jinja Adventist Church will make these panties locally.  Our trainers have been helping them develop their business plan that includes making school uniforms and other items to sell.
  3. Mobilize our 22 African FARM STEW trainers to provide Bible-based health education, pads, and panties to 3,000 rural African girls.  This is the most important part because we are changing attitudes and behavior that can lead to abundant life.  
One of the deaf members of the Ugandan sewing group making panties!

We’re so excited to meet the sanitation needs of 3,000 rural African girls while creating enterprise opportunities for hundreds of vulnerable people! You will be blessed by knowing that you are part of God’s work in reaching the least of these.  Most of the girls we meet don’t even have shoes to wear to school, so I am quite certain Jesus will consider what you do for them as if it was done to Jesus Himself.

 

TheKing will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew25:40

 

It’s a win-win-win solution that will cost $45,000to implement! (Another CRAZY idea!) Simply choose the number of girls you want to transform and multiply by $15.

$30.00-two girls                      $60.00-four girls.                    $120.00-eight girls

Or go a “little crazy” and help a whole school!

 

You can also make a monthly commitment on-line www.farmstew.org to support this effort, and all our work, on an ongoing basis!  

 

If you choose to trust us with your gift, you will be echoing the words of Jesus, when He freed the woman from her shame.  Your donation will say to theseAfrican girls,

 

           “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.” Mark 5:34

 

May God bless you as you engage inMission Possible! 

Joy Kauffman, MPH

Founder and CEO of FARM STEWInternational

 

P.S. The choice is yours-Girls without or with a future.  Those that feel they are hopeless or feel that they are the daughters of the King of kings!

Edward, our Ugandan Country Director, with a van full of 2018 pads. Will you help us fill and distribute another one?

 

*The names of girls are changed for the sake of their privacy.


[1] InternationalFood Policy Research Institute. 2016. Global Nutrition Report 2016: FromPromise to Impact: Ending Malnutrition by 2030. Washington, DC.

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Joy Kauffman, MPH
Joy is the passionate founder of FARM STEW.