Water and Pads Project – Three new Projects

A Challenge between Hopeful Projects and a Lack of Finances

by Gudrun Haupter, Convenor of IAW Commission on Health
As you know we are always struggling to get more financial support. So at the beginning of summer we were very happy to get an extra donation by a Swiss foundation, but it was explicitly intended for new projects. Thanks to this donation we now can covers almost all costs of three “new schools” We already knew that two IAW organizations wanted to reach out to schools in precarious condition. Both Anne Yotchou of CEFAP and Quinta Ka of RENATA voiced their great concern about the situation of many school children in their country Cameroon. They both wanted to reach out to high school students (age 12-16). CEFAP was contacting a school at Doumbai Ngaoundéré. This rural region situated in the far North is bilingual (French and English) and is always threatened by gang attacks. RENATA got in touch with a secondary school at Bikok, also a poor area in the region of Yaoundé.

Already last year we had been in touch with Thérèse Akakpo, the coordinator of LA COLOMBE organization. Many of our IAW colleagues might know Thérèse from former IAW meetings. Since many years Gudrun Haupter mandated by Deutscher Frauenring is working very closely with this organization, and so she knew that Thérèse also wanted to join the WP project.


Thérèse Akakpo, Coordinator LA COLOMBE Togo

Last year LA COLOMBE had been engaged helping vulnerable women during the pandemics at Togo, see WP-website. The new WP activities will be carried out at the Complexe scolaire “Le Guide” at Agbémavo, a high school in a very poor part of Southern Togo.

New planning

Heidi Bodmer packing the booklets for shipping

With all this we had to adapt our planning. We had to get all necessary information about the specific “new schools”. This is crucial for establishing a good collaboration on all levels, be it teachers, parents, medias.

We also had to organize reprints of all “our booklets”. At the beginning of August Heidi Bodmer, Rolf Keller and me could prepare the parcels for the shipping. Now we hope that they will reach their destination in time for the new school term in early fall!

How about the other “WP-organizations”?

None of them is giving up. Quite the contrary! Some of them are in permanent touch with “their” schools. They also had requests from some directors to continue the WP project regularly each year! This shows how much needed these very successful activities are. Some of our IAW colleagues would very much like to reinforce the menstrual education several times within a year in “their” schools, but we are only able to provide the necessary yearly finances for one single event at each school.

How about the communication?

It is surprising how our IAW colleagues manage to communicate despite many obstacles. It works thanks to their mobile phones! They take pictures of their events, and then write their reports. Later on we upload all on the WP website which by now turns out to be a source of many motivating experiences and information.


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