Project Launch: 2-14-18
In Kake and surrounding villages, 2 in 5 girls are not in school, more than half of girls are married by 18, and more than a quarter of girls have given birth by age 19. Many girls and women in these communities miss school 4-5 days monthly because they lack access to sanitary pads due to cost or lack of local availability. They stay at home until after the menses because they are scared of embarrassment, shame, and also because menstruation is taboo event. Many women use unhygienic materials such as old dresses, toilet tissue, paper, and other objects to absorb menstrual blood which can cause reproductive tract infections. Some girls have unprotected sex with older men and boys in exchange for money to buy pads and other feminine hygiene products. This practice exposes them to teenage pregnancy, unsafe abortion, and sexually transmitted diseases which in turn are linked to low productivity, chronic illness, and mortality.
BeSafe Period Kits are comprised of 6 eco washable sanitary pads, 4 pairs of underwear, soap, hand sanitizer, an annual cycle/ovulation planner chart, a menstrual hygiene sticker, vaginal wipes, ibuprofen (for menstrual cramps), a storage bag, a pen, and a contact list of medical personnel. This project aims to produce 200 such kits (100 to be donated and 100 to be sold by the local women’s group to the surrounding communities) and train 20 girls as community peer educators to mentor other girls about menstruation, care of reusable pads, sex education, and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
Project Update: 7-19-18
3000 students were targeted by the menstruation sensitization campaign. 20 peer educators were trained to mentor girls in sexual and reproductive health, managing the menstrual cycle, care of reusable pads, and teenage pregnancy. 250 reusable pads were produced by participants and 150 kits were sold, creating $600 of revenue for participants. 80 kits were donated to vulnerable, marginalized, displaced, or highly impoverished communities in Cameroon.