Young girls have always had a challenge when it comes to that time of the month. Hajar Osman Dico and her team are sacrificing their time to empower young girls to develop their confidence.
Our team had a chit chat with the founder of Young Women Leader Network. Here is what she had to tell us about her projects.
What is YWLN all about?
Young Women Leaders Network (YWLN) is a non profit organization that seeks to educate, empower and support girls and women from rural and urban poor communities in Ghana through health education and personal development. Currently our flagship project is Menstrual Hygiene Management dubbed ‘Gift a Sanitary Pad to the Girl Child” were we educate basic school girls on menstruation and its hygiene, erase stigmatization surrounding menstruation among them and the boys.
And at the end of discussion gift them a sanitary pad and also savings box to help them save money to be able to buy sanitary products for them each month when their period is due.
My work in empowerment of the girl and women from urban poor and rural communities emanated from my experience as lady who grew from urban poor community of Accra where less than 7% of the youth are able to attain tertiary education. Most of the teenage girls within my community drop out from school ending up into child marriage or being teenage mothers. My late father ensure that I never fall a victim to any of the above by giving me the necessary guidance and support in sponsoring my education to tertiary among his seven children because he could not afford to educate us all. In his memories as an advocate for the girl child education and embedment, I founded Young Women Leaders Network in 2016.
What inspired you to start your foundation?
In 2017, I thought of doing something unique different from other organizations in my community that’s when menstrual hygiene project came to mind, I started my menses at age 12 with no knowledge about it, when I told my mum I saw a blood like phlegm in my urine all she said was you have attained puberty, stop playing around with boys and she gave cloth rugs to use as pad.
During that time, I use to hate it when its time for my period, I feel uncomfortable using the rugs, couldn’t walk properly, sitting down was even a problem because when I do, I will be stained, it was terrible. I discovered the use of sanitary pad without any help, I only assumed that was it purpose and used my own savings to buy my first sanitary in my third months of period. So, I decided to educate young ones in other to be prepared and how to handle this when its time.
What is your goal?
Our operation is working toward four Sustainable Development Goals, the SDG 3; Good health and Wellbeing, SDG 4; Quality Education, SDG 5: Gender Equality and SDG 17; Partnerships for goals.
How many people have benefited from YWNL?
Young Women Leaders Network currently has over 600 beneficiaries in Ghana since it started this project in 2017.
Funding and sponsorship are really a greatest challenge for us, hence our Reusable Pad Projects. Since Sanitary pads are expensive due to huge taxes placed on them, we are training girls how to make their own pads.
Also, we will be training teenage mothers and widows in to making these products so they can they can sell it to make a living out of it.
These cloths pads can be used for as long as 5years with proper hygienic management.
They are calling on philanthropist, stakeholders,and individuals to help sponsor their projects.
We need sewing machines and cash to purchase the materials needed for this project.
Call or Whatsapp us on 0243686055 for sponsorship or enquiry.