Together For Better – SIMS Service Based Learning Experiences
With service to society being one of our core values, Strathmore University hopes to reach out to as many lives as possible. Three students from the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (SIMS), Diya Pravin, Maan Maru and Manushi Patel, joined hands to try and better the community through the ‘Together For Better Foundation.’
The Foundation was established with the goal of enabling underprivileged communities to have better access to educational resources and other tools for learning. By equipping people with better menstrual health management through education and sustainable sanitary kits for a better life, the foundation seeks to reduce period poverty in areas with vulnerable girls and women. Since it was founded in 2016, it has embraced the goal of closing the reading gap by giving children in underprivileged areas access to learning resources to promote literacy development.
“I followed them on social media and decided to share this with my friends”, said Diya Pravin. Their journey started online but eventually translated to a visit. “We would go to the plants and help make the pads until we actually learnt how to stitch the pads. We taught the children how to wash, to stitch and use the pads. We also did the book drives where we got books and art and crafts materials and equipment,” said Maan Maru. The work to be done meant that they had to be creative to come up with solutions. The foundation opted for reusable sanitary towels instead of the regular sanitary towels because of the cost effective nature of the product. This means most girls are able to stay in school during their menstrual cycle because they now have access to affordable sanitary towels.
The trio also helped organise an event to help raise money for their cause. “We had a gala dinner to help fundraise with the hope of trying to reach 10,000 girls this year. We were able to raise over 1 million through auctions, tickets and raffles. The money will help over 1500 girls. We’re also currently planning to have a similar event where we hope to involve more young people,” Manushi Patel says. The foundation hopes to reach out to as many people as possible because they believe the youth should live better lives. Their youth for youth approach also challenges more young people to see how best they can make a difference.
The trio did not abandon ship upon completing their Service-based learning and continued to be part of the organisation and continue to make an impact in society today. “Although this started as service based learning, we decided to join the foundation as members and try to get more and more people,” says Diya Pranvi. The trio decided to stick together, not just together, but together for better. Their actions are proof that sometimes you don’t need much to make an impact, all you need is the will to do it.
This article was written by Faith Tuarari, a Bachelor of Arts in Communications student.
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