An NGO, Ecological Balance, has trained over 40 women and young girls to produce environmentally friendly menstrual pads, alongside a host of economically empowering products.
The five-day training seminar which commenced on Monday, February 24, at Apostolic Church Bomaka, had over 40 women and girls in attendance.
Speaking to the press after the event, the Executive Director of Ecological Balance, Blessing Limbi Tata, said: “the purpose of the training was to empower women and give them the necessary skills to be able to be contributing partners in their homes and to their communities.”
She lauded the commitment of women and young girls to the skill-acquisition training. “On the first day, we had a lot of young girls, because we were concentrating on young girls of menstruating age. We wanted to take away the shame from menstruation and give them the alternative.
“We are all Cameroonians and we know what is happening. Suddenly, pads have become a luxury. There are so many families that cannot even afford food. So just to buy a pad these days is very difficult.
“So on the first day, we educated girls on menstrual hygiene and health. We also distributed cloth pads. That day, we had the highest turnout, because a lot of young girls came and received our designed cloth pads. It was not only pads, but environmentally friendly pads. These are pads that can be washed and reused. They are sustainable in the long run.”
Limbi lauded the seriousness of the women, who, apart from learning menstrual hygiene, also learned how to produce drinks, body lotions, detergents, cloth pads, clothes and other products consumed in their households.
The women were encouraged not only to produce for their household use, but also to commercialise the products to improve their economic conditions.
Limbi encouraged the girls to switch to pads, which are comparatively cheap, comfortable and environmentally friendly.
Commenting on the training they received during the workshop, one of the participants, Patience Ikoh Nyaba, who learned how to make a health drink, branded as Bergere, said the workshop was enriching.
She said she had learnt how to make Bergere during one of Ecological Balance’s training workshops in 2019, and has since then, been producing and commercialising it.
She advised other participants to commercialise the various products they make.
“This training summit is better than the last one. In our last summit, we effectively learned in two days, but during this summit, we had much time to learn how to make different products. We even learned how to brand and package,” she said.
Ecological Balance is an NGO that aims at raising awareness, developing commodity value chain for non-timber agricultural products, promoting entrepreneurship for unemployed youths, regenerating wild, native forest and promoting sustainable menstruation.