Despite some sociopolitical troubles that slowed down our movements to some rural communities where we work in North West Cameroon, we were able to reach out to about 80 young women and girls with various training sessions and discussions this month.
A new club of young girls (aged 12 to 20 years) students at the Government Bilingual High School Atiela Bamenda boarded our boat, to continue with us this exiting journey! We started our activities there with 25 young girls with a friendly and lively discussion on how it’s important to have a vision and career expectations, we motivated them to set goals in their life. We drew their attention to the fact that they are not too young to set life goals and it’s important for them to be focused right now. We gave them some tips and advice like getting a mentor, doing volunteering work during holidays.
The discussion ended with a training session on powder soap production for use and income generation. The activity was followed with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm by all the girls.
About 20 girls also learned this month how to prepare peanuts for income generation. Loveline (28 years) was very grateful as she said that it will be very helpful; she does petty business and she is going to include it in her market place to make some profit.
The training on jewelry and crafts with beads is still ongoing and many women and girls are already generating some income from their creations!
Another major activity of this month was the training session on how to produce reusable sanitary pads. The African Youth Alliance had the honor to welcome Mrs Feka Parchibell. She is well known in the field of advocacy on menstrual hygiene and Sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. 40 women and young girls were trained on how to produce sanitary pads with simple and affordable materials.
The training was also a safe space of sharing of experiences. Many girls shared their menstruation experience and the challenges they are facing. Many girls explained that is was very challenging to have pads every months, some used papers, old rags, clothes, etc. Some face degrading situations and treatments in order to have the money to buy the pads every month. The discussions with the trainer and the sharing of experiences on this topic helped to break the stigma and taboo attached to menstruation matters.
The main lesson that came out was that menstruation is a pride and no woman must be ashamed about that. Every woman must menstruate with dignity; reusable sanitary pads are helpful to avoid humiliating practices, debauchery to have money to buy sanitary napkins.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to join us as a volunteer or to support our activities.