The Need

Many women and girls in Cameroon face menstruation with misinformation and a lack of necessary supplies. They are forced to resort to using unhygienic, makeshift measures like newspapers, rags or mud for menstrual care. Like in Canada, menstruation is a taboo topic in Cameroon. Women and girls face discrimination and cultural attitudes that treat menstruation with shame, and relegate women and girls to hide in their homes for one week of every month. This means that girls miss school or drop out altogether at the onset of puberty. Women are forced to miss work and lose important income that is necessary to support their families. Menstruation becomes a source of shame, ostracization and missed opportunity. This is unacceptable.

Our Approach

We provide women and girls with everything they need to make wise choices about menstrual health based on information, healthy supplies and confidence.

Knowledge is power. We host workshops where women and girls congregate to gain valuable information about menstrual health. Workshops are followed by ongoing support so that people are able to ask questions and receive guidance so they are successful in healthy menstrual care.

Women and girls are provided with reusable menstrual supplies that can last them for years. They have a choice between a reusable menstrual cup and reusable pads, and are taught how to clean these supplies so that they are safe and sustainable. Supplies are hygienic, affordable, culturally-appropriate and environmentally-friendly – and can last for up to ten years.

Our workshops are led by local community health workers. These talented professionals understand their community and have the expertise needed to empower women and girls with menstrual health knowledge and supplies. By employing local health workers, we ensure that our program is culturally-appropriate and designed to meet the genuine needs of women and girls.

For many of the women and girls in our program, the workshops are the first time they have an all-female forum for honest conversation. This is invaluable to building confidence, knowledge and power. Call-in radio shows, television, and local and national media are used to get the word out to even more women about healthy menstrual care.

Where We Work

We work in Cameroon, West Africa. We work with rural farmers. We work with girls in high schools. We work with teachers, hairdressers, designers, secretaries and attorneys. We work in partnership with any woman or girl who is need of improved menstrual care, so that she can live her life any way she chooses.

We are building partnerships with women-led organizations throughout Africa. We will expand to other communities where women and girls lack menstrual health care. Teaming up with these organizations that understand their community’s needs, we will provide the resources, knowledge, training and support necessary to build menstrual health care into female-focused programming that is already changing lives.

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Our Impact

Lives are transformed through access to menstrual health knowledge and supplies. Women from our program have expressed increased knowledge, income, confidence and happiness as a direct result of Mother Nature Partnership. Women and girls have an improved ability to attend school and go to work, and live their lives to the fullest. Women and girls see a decrease in financial expenses and environmental waste. As one woman said, “I feel freer and happier”. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.