The COVID-19 epidemic is still impacting our lives all over the globe, requiring adaptation of our work and lifestyles. Many of us are dealing with the direct impact of the disease and/or the mitigation measures required to contain the pandemic. Finding a balance to cope with this new life is not easy, and I am impressed and excited to read about the many ICRH activities that continued over the last 4 months, even in difficult and resource constraint settings.

ICRH Kenya joined the Mombasa County in celebrating World Menstrual Hygiene Day at the St. Mary’s School. Going by this year’s theme, ‘We need to step up action and investment in menstrual health and hygiene now’, they joined the noble cause by donating sanitary towels to be distributed among school going children in the County.

Do we need an International Women's Day?

Women's rights are, of course, human rights, which are unfortunately still too often violated, so International Women's Day will remain necessary until women and men have equal rights.

We have undoubtedly made a great deal of progress in the last 25 years.

ICRH Kenya launched the ‘First Time Young Mothers programme’ at the Mtwapa Health Center, Kilifi South Sub County in December last year. The programme is aimed to improving the quality of maternal, neonatal and child outcomes for pregnant adolescents and young women aged ten to twenty-four years.

In 2018, ICRH Kenya received funding from ‘Amplify Change’ to collect stories from sexual violence survivors. ICRHK bundled 15 unique stories into a beautiful and extremely moving booklet named ‘Facing Violence - In my own words.’ The book tells the stories of those who overcame the most inhumane of acts and from it, got the courage to talk about their experience. ICRH Kenya believes the stories will empower and encourage every member of the community to take action and make a change. The publication will be used as a resource material for Sexual Gender Based Violence research.

Last year, numerous stakeholders came together in Kwale County for a conference held by the Reproductive Health Network Kenya. Policy makers, service providers, experts, grassroots women and men, sexual and gender minority groups, like-minded civil society organizations, and young people from the regional, national and international community were united.

Marleen Temmerman is awarded by H.E.Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, the title of 'Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear' (MBS). This is one of Kenya’s highest distinctions, which is seldom awarded to non-Kenyans, and even more exceptionally to women.

ICRH Kenya has embraced Multi Month Scripting for stable Key Populations with 530 Female Sex Workers and 168 Men who have sex with men currently on MMS in both Mombasa and Kilifi Counties.

ICRH-Mozambique is partnering with the Faculty of Medicine of Eduardo Mondlane University to implement the I-SHARE study in Mozambique.

While Mozambique has been making strides towards improving provision of adolescent-friendly health services, there are still young people that are consistently excluded especially those with disabilities. ICRH-Mozambique is now partnering in two projects funded by the Flemish Government to reach these groups.