Seventeen-year-old Natalie Obiero believes that girls everywhere have the right to go to school. In December 2016, Natalie teamed up with her mother to found Blossoming Flowers, an organization that mentors girls and provides them with emotional and psychological support. Blossoming Flowers also provides girls with sanitary napkins so that they can continue to attend school during their menstrual cycles. (Lack of access to sanitary napkins is often cited as a reason girls drop out of school.) And most importantly, she says, “We teach them that we are equal with the men in our society.”
Blossoming Flowers works closely with a local orphanage where Natalie and her mother— who works for the United Nations Development Programme — play and bond with the girls.
Natalie says their young organization has received mostly positive feedback, though she has had some challenges. “There have been some slight remarks from men who ask me questions like, ‘How can you empower girls if you’ve experienced nothing in your life?’” she says. “I say I have enough to share what I have.”