FEMMECARE is an innovative program designed to empower young women by teaching them to respect and honor their bodies. By teaching them about hygiene, menstrual health and the dignity of womanhood; this program helps them to feel confident and comfortable. The participants are provided with reusable pads for menstruation which has benefits in addition to helping with self-esteem. Unable to afford the normally available commercial feminine pads, these students often do not attend school when menstruating due to the concomitant, socially dictated shame. The provision of the low cost and reusable pads provide a readily available alternative allowing them to continue their education uninterrupted.
Additionally, FEMMECARE has become a part of the TELA Skills Acquisition Center by teaching the young ladies how to develop a business around the production of reusable, environmentally friendly, hygiene pads. These pads are sold at low cost to women in surrounding villages also empowering them.
Femmecare also provides workshops on menstruation and women’s health issues in villages and schools so that the benefits accrue to more than just the students involved with SSAI. Currently, over 60% of the almost 1200 students at TELA are female and, as they reach puberty, all of them will participate in this program. The FEMMECARE program has already proved impactful, and plans are in place to expand it as funds for staffing and transportation become available which would allow this program to reach thousands of women.