If every women experiences menstruation for an average time of 40 years, from the age 12-52 – why is it such a taboo topic?
Women’s empowerment is key when it comes to global development and enhancing families to break a cycle of poverty. The most sustainable way to accomplish women’s empowerment and gender equity, is by improving education and employment opportunities for women and girls. However, if periods remain unaddressed, they form a major obstacle for women’s empowerment. Periods are the number one reason why girls miss school in developing countries.
In Cameroon, less than 50 per cent of girls attend primary school, and off that group only 32 per cent go on to attend secondary school. These girls miss an average of 4 days of school each month simply because they get their periods. That is nearly a week of school - 20 per cent of a school month.
The taboo around menstruation affects mental and physical health. The effects can go so far as to affect maternal mortality. Unclean methods of maintaining your period, whether due to a lack of resources or a lack of education surrounding the use of such products, can cause infections like skin irritation to something more fatal like Toxic Shock Syndrome.
Community Development Network has two aims:
1. To improve the attendance rates of girls in Cameroon
2. To empower girls in Cameroon so that they can confidently claim their human rights
Community Development Network gives workshops and trainings to girls aged 11 to 17 that teach them about menstrual hygiene, sexual and reproductive health, and their human rights. During the workshops the girls are also provided with sustainable menstrual hygiene products, such as menstrual underwear, reusable pads, and menstrual cups.
Because if the key to international development is women’s empowerment, we want girls to feel confident and supported so that they can excel.
In order to continue giving workshops and empowering girls, we need your help. Our partner, PERIOD, has agreed to help us out with getting discounts on menstrual hygiene products. So here’s what you can do:
- Donate $ 10.00 to buy a menstrual cup
- Donate $ 8.00 to buy a reusable pad
And help us empower girls in Cameroon and improve their attendance rates.
Higher donations are very welcome, but we are also aware that everyone can only donate to their ability. We are aiming for $1,000 as this will mean we can continue our workshops and hand out products for another month and reach about 120 girls. We are grateful for any donation, and if you want we will keep you updated on our project and on what your contribution was used for.
$8 buys one reusable pad. $10 buys one menstrual cup. $18 buys one of each
Our Dental Hygiene Education project teaches the importance of mouth hygiene and using a toothbrush properly and regularly as of utmost importance in all communities and local areas of Cameroon. Most children in these remote parts of Cameroon have grown up never using a toothbrush.
This has contributed to a number of mouth- and dental-related illnesses, whereby most of these children lose their teeth at a very young age due to a lack of basic hygiene education and sanitation material. The shortage of professional dentistry in many regions results in irregular or non-existent
The shortage of professional dentistry in many regions results in irregular or non-existent check-ups. In addition, the health insurance schemes in developing countries are generally poor, which also contributes to the low mouth and dental hygiene standards.
CDN regularly educates various groups of children on how important it is to have good mouth hygiene and maintain healthy teeth. Children not only receive exercises on how to brush their teeth properly but also on how they can prevent themselves from catching various mouth diseases and tooth infections.
Each child receives a complimentary toothbrush, toothpaste, a drinking cup and most importantly animated instructions from the volunteer instructor on how to keep their mouths and teeth clean. In our effort to better educate both children and adults, we always remind them of the 4 steps to a healthy smile – Brush, rinse, floss and see your dentist!
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) today has become an indispensable tool for human development and although with the overwhelming impact of new technologies globally, numerous factors still account for the setbacks in bridging the digital divide in developing nations like Cameroon. Many youths in rural Cameroon have never used a computer, let alone received any basic training/education on computer user skills. Our ICT project aims to provide basic knowledge of computers and promote the use of computers as a learning tool at home and in schools while offering computer training for a vocation.
This project will enable young people to use the ICT and other new technologies to engage in collaborative educational projects that both enhance learning and make a difference in the world. The focus here is to train its participants to become skilled, productive and creative in computer related user skills as well as raise the awareness of the community as a whole on the use and importance of ICT in the 21st Century. Youths are provided with free training in basic computer skills, office applications & Internet skills which are in high demand. Through group interactions, mentoring, discussions and question & answer sessions to reinforce learning.
This training will effectively equip them with vital proficiency/skills needed to sharpen and enhance their literacy and interest through access to computer education. CDN wants to bring ICT to the masse and remote areas and transform the lives of participants while broadening their options to new opportunities. Youths are empowered to take their place in society and become computer literate and proficient - and consequently viable and competitive in the market place in career development and hence contribute to national development.
Our Human Rights Education project places human rights at the heart of the learning experience. It makes human rights an integral part of everyday school life for students and youths in the Cameroonian community.
From the way decisions are made in schools, to the way people treat each other, right down to the curriculum and extracurricular activities on offer, the school becomes an exemplary model for human rights education.
The Human Rights Education project encourages and supports the development of a global culture of human rights by empowering young people, teachers, and the wider school community.
Participating secondary schools work towards developing a whole-school approach to human rights education, by integrating human rights values and principles into key areas of school life.
The project reaches out to the community to change the way people think about, and actively participate in addressing human rights issues.
Promoting a culture of human rights encourages communities to rely on principles of equality, it encourages students to take responsibility for their actions, and it creates a school environment that is inclusive and fair.
The ultimate goal of this project is to combat the spreading of HIV/AIDS, which is growing at a fast and alarming rate in Cameroon. We educate youths about the dangers of the disease, and we teach them to respect themselves and each other. We focus on youths to fight the spread and eradicate HIV, as they are the most vulnerable group when it comes to HIV/AIDS - and they are the future of Cameroon.
Community Development Network aims to improve sex education and (reproductive) health by organizing workshops, campaigns, and events in schools and communities. During our workshops and in our campaigns we raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and we lay out preventive measures so that our target group avoids contracting or spreading HIV/AIDS.
We focus on different contraceptive methods and teach to avoid marginalizing and discriminating against people living with HIV/AIDS. Additionally, we distribute informative campaigning materials as well as condoms and we encourage participants to speak about HIV/AIDS in their communities in order to prevent further spreading and stigmatization of those living with HIV/AIDS.
Our approach to sex education in schools in Cameroon is aimed at developing positive, protected, and safe behaviors among students for their present and future lives as grown-ups. We ensure that students fully understand the meaning of sexual health and that they take the reproductive health rights agenda at heart.
In Cameroon, malaria remains the first cause of morbidity and mortality among the most vulnerable groups made up of pregnant women and children aged below 5 years. It is endemic all year round in almost the entire country and the transmission period varies from 7 - 12 months. Malaria is also the cause of 26% loss of workdays and constitutes 40% of family health expenses.
Our mission through this project includes educating people on the dangers of malaria; teaching people practical ways of preventing malaria and taking care of the environment to keep away mosquitoes. We reach out to vulnerable groups and communities with sustainable ways of preventing and treating malaria while demonstrating and teaching people the use of new and effective treatment therapies while looking at supplying malaria treatment, products, and mosquito nets to those in desperate need.
We aim at creating a pool of persons and entities dedicated to fighting the scourge of malaria through both human and financial effort and; partnering with interest groups on improving the total health of all in a malaria-free Cameroon.
CDN envisions a world where no one dies of a mosquito bite by mobilizing the wider public and stakeholders for an effective and sustainable action and global provision of resources required to achieve malaria eradication within our generation. We want to use a highly targeted, proven advocacy model to elevate malaria on the global agenda and translate political support into funding.
We are now working to provide life-saving bed nets for families in mosquito-infested areas to prevent the transmission of Malaria in Cameroonian communities.