The African Women Education and Development Partnership Forum » Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel Female Sanitation Project

Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel Female Sanitation Project


The African Women’s Education and Development Partnership Forum was a grantee of The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation for May, 2013. Veronica Kette and Irene Whittaker are directing the project.

The Project

Through the provision of innovative reusable menstrual cups and accompanying education and awareness programming, women smallholder farmers will be able to increase their productivity by an anticipated 25% while enjoying the parallel sustaining benefits of increase hygiene pride and empowerment.


Our project addresses:

– The innovative menstrual technology
– The root cause of lowered productivity amongst women smallholder farmers
– Cultural taboos to menstruation


We base our project on the fact that:

– Every year, women miss up to 2 months of the year of tendering their crops due to menstruation and lack of care and that absenteeism of 1/6 of their productivity is severely detrimental to livelihood

– Women often cannot afford sanitary products and resort newspapers, old rags, mud, palm nut sponges, foam, plantain leaves cotton recycled toilet paper which due to cultural taboos cannot participate in community or farming and family life.

In 2011, we implemented a profoundly successful pilot project involving 350 Cameroonian women, in which the women universally expressed the positive impacts to their lives.

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By the end of our project we would have reached 5000 women in rural Cameroon with the menstrual cup which have been generously donated by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation and supplied by Femme cup – London. We shall empower women, demystify menstruation and increase production amongst small holder farmers in Cameroon.