The Kenya Footballers’ Welfare Association (KEFWA) has partnered with Dandora-based Johanna Omolo Foundation to distribute sanitary towels to football clubs. The scheme will start this month with the aim to increase female participation in football.
SEP Oyugis FC player Rael Kamanda has spoke out about the challenges menstruation poses. It can affect both players on their first cycle and also more experienced players. She stresses that the players would never want to be ridiculed for others noticing their stained clothes.
“Football is a physical sport. Inasmuch as I have been around for a while now, period shame is something all of us feel at some point. If I was wearing white shorts during a match, I’d be so uncomfortable if I didn’t have proper sanitary towels. Not everyone can afford pads and will go for old rugs or tissue papers.
“This is why most of us will go to someone we are comfortable with and ask them to check if we have stained our kits. If the response is yes, then we are totally out of the game. That means we become a liability to the team,” Kamanda explained.
Basic care needed for all
Belgium-based and FIFPRO 2019 player of the year Omolo would like to contribute to women’s footballing success.
“We have seen how well our women’s teams have been performing in the regional stage and this shows they have potential to replicate that in the continental stage.
“It would be an honour to support our local women’s league by offering sanitary towels to all teams and encourage more women to play the game. This comes after most teams KEFWA visited raised the issue of inadequate sanitary towels, especially during match days,” Omolo said.
KEFWA Secretary General Jerry Santos said: “We are grateful to Johanna Omolo Foundation for the superb gesture. The initiative will ensure that our members’ challenges are tackled as we look for long-term and sustainable avenues.”
Besides the MHM project, KEFWA is working on an array of activities including the Monthly Players for Players’ award which will roll out in March.