Can one person change the future of an entire community? There are many entrenched issues being faced by peoples across the world, but often it is from one person standing up to make a difference that real change takes place. People like Aruna Varsan.
Aruna is a 43-year-old woman who was born in India. She grew up in the city of Mombasa and currently resides in Nairobi with her husband and two children.
By profession, she is a Montessori teacher and a passionate humanitarian who pushes for the rights of girls – a champion for education and women menstrual hygiene leading to the creation of her NGO ‘Together for Better’.
In the beginning, Aruna used to support children from challenging backgrounds by helping with school fees. However, during the course of that project, she was inspired by the realisation that most girls in Kenya missed school due to the lack of sanitary products. This compelled her to start working on menstrual health as she was touched by the girls’ desire to be in school. She wanted to do something to ensure that they got the support they deserved.
She has worked along with the Maasai community for approximately 3 years. This has been an eye-opener for her, allowing Aruna to immerse herself into a different culture allowing her to appreciate and understand their values and way of life.
Today, the NGO has been able to provide reusable sanitary pad kits to over 10,000 girls, allowing the breakdown of the negative stigma around the topic of menstrual hygiene in rural areas.
In the next 5 years, the organization hopes to train the girls to sew their own reusable sanitary towels. They aim to empower the girls to be ambassadors of change by engaging directly in teaching people in their community how to use sanitary towels and about menstrual health.
Highlighting inspirational stories of individual action is exactly what our mission at U&i Global is. We want to share stories that inspire others to become change-makers in their communities with the aiming of driving sustainable development from the bottom up. There is so much we can each learn from Aruna, and we hope that by reading her story, you have become inspired to make a difference in the lives of people in your community.
If you have a story to share with us of inspirational change, please get in touch now.
Change starts with U&i.
If you want to learn more about Together for Better, you can see a link to their social media below: