Kenyan school gets a helping hand from Raglan community

Raglan has blown us away by fundraising the majority of $2200 in an appeal to provide washable sanitary pads for a rural school in Kenya.

This will be a game changer for our girls and for the environment. We now have the funds to gift a kit to every girl and female teacher at Heittmann Girls High School – along with a quality sewing machine – to teach them how to make their own sanitary pads and start a small social enterprise to sell to other woman.

We are still open to continued support for materials and cottons to make the pads. Thank you to Days for Girls who have also contributed generously. To all those in Raglan who contributed, this is a huge, deep-hearted thank you.

Kenya is an incredible country full of life, love, colour, ancient wisdom, beauty, poverty, cancer, Aids, desertification, corruption, skill, wonder, inequality, contradictions and imagination. It is a country full of riches (that the West desires), yet not as much as a shilling is shared with the majority of the population.

In this country, the division between the rich and the poor is incomprehensible – a Bentley cruises by while a disabled person drags himself across the tarmac.

The country, still handcuffed to colonial days, is unable to break free. Kenya is teaming with diversity, life, warmth and generosity but drying up before our eyes. Big rivers have gone, desert spills out over once rich agricultural plains, and farms are producing little. People are dying … hungry.

I recently attended an expo in Lyttleton about Living Economies. High calibre speakers from across the globe spoke on a variety of topics around our current monetary system, local currencies and the interconnection between banking and climate change. It was a huge eye opener!

With current estimations of temperature increases across the earth, it is not a too wild guess that by 2050 (33 years away) the equator could be too hot to inhabit.

If these predictions are correct, well, who can say what the impact on humanity, and our flora and fauna, will be. One thing I am certain is that for the girls we care for it’s now the time – this year – to be teaching relevant, real, hands-on education. Education that will equip them in the face of climate change; education that will enable trade using local currencies (not through the banks), care of the earth, reforestation of encroaching deserts, water collection, zero waste initiatives and so on.

Our next project is to take the students and teachers at Heittmann Girls on a trip around Kenya to stay and work on farms that are already doing these things – and there are many. The intention is to inspire our youth, work with them and meet other young people who are working the land, sharing their knowledge, and finding pleasure and fun in it. We want to set our students and teachers up with real living initiatives that we can implement at the school so they can become an example of what is possible. We need help to make this happen. We need $8000. Any and all support big or small is appreciated.

Charlotte Pearsall

If this sounds like something you would like to support or talk to me about, please contact me. Ph 021 780 889 or email Check out our Facebook page Beads Kenya and our website: