Letter from Verona Achieng:
Hello dear friends,
I feel honoured and privileged having been given this opportunity to share with you my dreams and hopes as a young girl.
My name is Verona Achieng and I am turning 13 years this October. At the onset, I would like to convey my innermost gratitude to everyone who has supported the PODI and Aunt Elseba in procuring and supplying sanitary pads to the girls in the slums of Homa Bay. God bless you all.
I did my KCPE (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examinations marking the end of primary education) last year thanks to the encouragement and the support of the PODI team. I had in the previous year left writing the examinations mid way. One may wonder why I had to leave writing my exams mid way. I had studied hard, but the most dreaded thing happened. “Aunt flow” visited. I was dirty, with the heavy flow and with my dignity at stake, I had to flee. It was a painful experience.
The incident almost threw my dreams of becoming a gynaecologist in disarray. I had already dropped out of school there was no way I could study and achieve my dream.
This dream was re-awakened when Aunt Elseba came to my school. I have always had the inner push to become a doctor, so as to help women in this slum.
I was enrolled in the PODI program and they started supplying me with a pack of sanitary pads every month. I repeated the eighth grade and passed so well. I am now in Form one. Though I’m a day schooler and always have to walk a considerable distance to school with inadequate facilities, it isn’t nearly as challenging as having a way to manage one’s period discretely.
Access to pads I can say for sure is access to education. To the PODI sisters, thanks for re-igniting this dream of becoming a medical doctor in me. I am now focused on my studies knowing for sure that you got my back and ensure that I am in school all through the month, never missing my mathematics , chemistry and biology classes.
Once again thanks for your support,