Production of reusable sanitary pads!

A “Water and Pads” Pilot Project at Yaoundé Cameroon

It happened during one of our team meetings with Pascale Vallée and Anne Yotchou in 2023. Anne showed us a plan on how to produce “3000 reusable sanitary pads for underprivileged schoolgirls”. She might be able to produce it all together with a few women volunteers based at Yaoundé. Certainly this was a great idea but there were no finances for adequate installations and the fabric needed.
As it has often been the case with the WP project, unexpected solutions were found concerning the financial problem. Thanks to her connections, Heidi Bodmer was able to organize two well-repaired second-hand electric sewing machines. She could also arrange a free shipping to Cameroon by a logistics company.
This of course reduced the costs remarkably. It was enough for our tight budget to finance the other accessories, as well as the fabric needed for the pads and the sandwiches for the seamstresses.
Anne could install a workplace, and the production started at the beginning of 2024. According to the planning the sewing of 3.000 pieces will take a whole year, as it is all carried out by CEFAP volunteers.

It was clear for us, that BAWUFAG and RENATA; the other two IAW organizations based in Cameroon should also get their share within this pilot-project. In fact WP participants are often asking us for reusable pads which they want to distribute during the WP events.

Starting in 2025 “3.000 pads” has got to be self-supporting unless we get a remarkable higher amount of funding for the WP-project in general in future. We shall therefore evaluate the situation later in the year.

We have already got news from other WP-participants that they are also interested in producing reusable pads on site. This is a wonderful and motivating perspective for the future –
promoting small businesses and thus local value creation.

At the moment, we are simply grateful to the CEFAP team for their engagement. All together with them we are delighted about the many fancies sanitary pads being created.
Have a look at the pictures (please click on the image to enlarge)!

Ursula Nakamura in April 2024


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