UZIMA – RWANDA
Set-up a production of affordable, organic and compostable Sanitary Pads for Refugee Women, by Refugee Women
The context in Rwanda
Thousands of girls and women (over 60’000) live in Rwandan refugee camps as a result of regional wars in neighboring Burundi and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. When they menstruate, they do not have access to affordable sanitary pads and they often use a piece of cloth that cannot be cleaned because the lack of water. This causes vaginal infections, skin irritations and often embarrassing stains in public and stigmatizing situations.
There are 2.8 million menstruating women and girls in Rwanda and sanitary pads are not widely used because of lack of information or access to products. Reportedly 18% of the girls miss school regularly when they menstruate. The Rwandese government recognized this as an issue and in 2019 lifted the taxes for sanitary pads, to promote their use.
Heart of the project
Uzima sanitary pads production unit in Rwanda has been initiated by PridenoShame global project. Pride no Shame vision is to offer affordable, ecological and compostable sanitary pads to women refugee around the world.
The aim of the project is to improve the livelihoods of women and girls in and around refugee camps in Rwanda.
The specific goal of this project is to provide women and girls living in refugee camps an affordable solution to their hygienic needs when menstruating and to generate an income, by creating a sustainable production of sanitary pads by women for women.
The wider scope of the project is to extend the availability of affordable sanitary pads in Africa and other refugee camps.
The production will start in January 2022. It is an ambitious project to support the women in refugee camps and in rural areas. It is meant to be environmentally friendly both in its logistics and in the natural raw materials used.
The project aims to be self-sufficient from the second half of 2022; the net income resulting from the sale of sanitary pads in and outside the camp will be used to duplicate it elsewhere.
FRIENDS OF HUMANITY
Friends of Humanity is a foundation recognized as being of public utility and based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Its aim is to improve living conditions in the following sectors: defence of human dignity, education and training, health and traditional medicine, and environmental protection.
To visit Friends of humanity’s website, click here
Message from the Founder
On my way, I met Aldo, a remarkable Italian doctor who for 30 years has dedicated his free time to caring for remote indigenous communities, without any official help. To my question about the impact of these solitary actions, he replied: I chose to make small projects, exceptionally well. Like the hummingbird’…. I immediately identified myself and Friends of Humanity was born from this call for solidarity towards the most vulnerable people by listening to their needs and bringing together tangible solutions. The status of women has always been dear to my heart as well as the access to education, hence the selection of the projects. Friends of Humanity is just a drop in the ocean and like the hummingbird I know that this drop of water can make a difference where it’s lacking. This is how my mission and vision come together.
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