Girls to Women Reusable Pads

October 2017 – Ongoing
In Sierra Leone, menstruation is believed to be a female-only issue and is therefore not openly discussed. Religious and traditional beliefs and practices also contribute to the perpetuation of a sense of taboo around the topic.
WYCF believe that every menstruating girl and woman has the right to access information and safe, affordable, culturally appropriate and environment friendly products. Providing daily cleaned gender-segregated bathrooms where the girls can wash and clean themselves and change menstrual hygiene pads is an equally fundamental part of making them feel comfortable at school at all times.

The challenges:
– Lack of knowledge and understanding;
– Marginalization and stigma related to leaks, stains and odours;
– Unaffordable absorbent materials;
– Discomfort, itching, irritation and infection due to the use of inappropriate absorbent materials;
– Lack of disposal system;
– Increased absence from school, reduced participation in class and consequent underperformance;
– General withdraw from social settings.

Our solution:
– Sensitize our students, both girls and boys, to the concept of menstruation and all its implications while demystifying taboos around it;
– Introduce the idea of reusable pads and promote their usage;
– Propel the local production of reusable pads.

The outcomes:
– 83 students educated on the menstrual cycle and sexual and reproductive health;
– 361 community women reached with reproductive health and menstruation education in 2017;
– 8 women equipped on tailoring skills and trained them on producing reusable menstrual pads;
– 824 reusable menstrual pads produced in 2017;
– 220 reusable menstrual pads distributed to 55 girls and women.

If you would like to support the Girls to Women Reusable Pads project, please help us fundraise or make a donation. You can also get in touch at any time – we will be happy to answer any questions you may have and provide more information!