Name of Organization: Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation.
Project Title/Name: Give 500 Girl-Child Pad in Rural Communities, Lagos
Focus Country: Nigeria.
Project Locations: Southeast, Nigeria.
Focus Area: Pad a Girl Initiative envisioned to eradicate menstrual poverty
Amongst poor and vulnerable girls in Lagos and Imo.
Project Type: Direct service, Street based Project
Proponent: Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation
Address Klm 1 Eke-Ahiara Junction, Umuofor Nnarambia
Ahiara, Ahiazu Mbaise, Imo State, Nigeria
BRANCH OFFICE: 88 Murtala Muhammed way,
Yaba, Ebute Metta, Lagos.
#PadAGirl initiative envisioned to eradicate menstrual poverty amongst poor and vulnerable girls in Lagos and Imo was developed to sustain and localize the #PadBank project by Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian foundation in Nigeria. It aims at supporting menstrual hygiene amongst poor and vulnerable girls in Nigeria schools and communities. #PadAGirl Initiative is a project borne out of the need to empower young girls and women who are going through various form of stigmatization, abuse and health challenges as a result of their natural monthly cycle.
For most poor and vulnerable girls in Nigeria, as signs of menstruation gets close, it serves as a constant reminder of the oncoming abuse and stigmatization they are about to face. What should be a proud period in their lives, turn out to be their most dreadful period. For most of these girls, menstruation is a dream-killer because they never get to attend schools during menstruation. While for others who cannot afford a good menstrual pad, they rely on old rags and leaves as alternatives. There are no gainsaying the detrimental health challenges faced by these poor girls and women as a result of these unhygienic practices. Some are sexually abused in their quest to look for money to buy menstrual pads.
Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian foundation is a Community Based Organization officially registered and joined GlobalGiving community that realizes the significance of a positive influence on the girl child in the development of the society. It was established in 2012 with eight members as one of the Community based Organization in Imo State, Nigeria. We are looking forward to reaching 120 fully registered Members by end of 2025 with a vision for active, erudite and responsible professionals to become the future leaders of their community with members designing and organizing programs that help empower the girl-child and the youth at large. This sanitary towel project targets school-going girls from disadvantaged social and economic backgrounds in their puberty. Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian foundation is raising funds to provide free sanitary pads to female students in Lagos and Imo State. The Initiative will distribute the pads to girls in more than 350 schools, both primary and secondary schools. At the primary level, these will encompass girls from primary 5 to 6. The Initiative will organize trainings and question-and-answer sessions to give girls a forum to discuss related issues along with female teachers and other staff in the schools. This project will be on-going and is envisioned to address not only girls in Lagos and Imo but also those in other rural and arid areas in Nigeria.
This is a campaign to ensure that girls do not miss a day of school because of menstruation. The campaign addresses the lack of access to sanitary pads which prevents girls from attending school and participating in learning, or even worse, dropping out of school. Providing a dignity kit containing sanitary towels, underwear and a sanitary pad wallet promotes a girl’s menstrual hygiene which will in turn increase participation in education, promote hygiene, health and empowerment. By staying in school, girls are protected from vulnerabilities like early marriage and gender-based violence. Stand Up for Girls targets girls from informal settlements, arid and semi-arid regions to increase girls’ participation in education.
Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation’ started in the year 2012, officially registered September 7, 2017. Joined GlobalGiving community May 29, 2021, with a vision to eradicate menstrual poverty amongst poor and vulnerable girls in Lagos and Imo. It aimed at supporting menstrual hygiene amongst poor and vulnerable girls in Nigeria schools and communities. In the first 3 months of its operations, ‘Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation’ did a rapid assessment in the region to discover a dearth of serious, structured interventions with young and aged people in the area. The team from ‘Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation’ visited more than 20 rural communities and several NGO functionaries operating in the area to learn about the involvement of youth and adult in social initiatives in the area. In these visits, most of the principals, teachers and social workers voiced a need to build leadership among young people on social issues and motivate them to take up social action initiatives. The educators expressed their concerns and difficulties involved in mobilizing young people for social action initiatives.
In the same period, a team from ‘Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation’ participated in the ‘Change Makers program’ that was conducted jointly by The Nonprofit council with the aim of understanding the current community development initiatives of other NGOs across Nigeria. During this phase the team studied the program design and the community mobilization methods of these NGOs. The team also underwent a one year long mentoring and handholding under this program. In the process, the team also participated in a several learning programs with several NGOs working on community issues from across the nation. In these sessions, the team interacted with more than 12 NGOs and their several community leaders working in different parts of the country.
Equipped with an understanding of local issues and an understanding of the best practices of NGOs from across the country, ‘Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation’ started conducting basic life skill and active citizenship programs in communities in Southeast. The program was named ‘change for life’. These workshops caught the interest of educators and students alike and they welcomed ‘Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation’ team to conduct repeat workshops on several issues in 15 communities with around 8,367 in attendant. This program also had an indirect outreach of another 4200 people. ‘Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation’ also initiated a pilot program named ‘Metamorphosis’ that involved families in community outreach program. This program involved around 10,600 farmers from 15 different communities in the area. In the same period, ‘Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation’ conducted two parent counseling workshops in two different communities to discuss the issues of their children. This program titled ‘Parenting and grassroots child-care' helped us put forward our standpoints and increased our acceptance with parents who are the prime decision makers for their children
Now in its second year of operation, ‘Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation’ has started conducting life skill and active citizenship workshops in 10 additional Communities. This program so far had a direct outreach of 2700 families. Parenting and grassroots child-care has been conducted in two new Communities in the year. Currently, ‘Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation is actively working with 23 communities in Southeast working on different issues in different communities. In order to give a push to these projects, 'Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation’ has identified the need for:
a) Help the vulnerable improve and maintain a healthy and independent lifestyle and to maximize their quality of life.
b) Starting of 2 Resource Centers in southeast to address the needs of farmers
a) Resource Centers for youth to learn vocational skills.
b) Resource and Empowerment Centers for farmers to equip them with skills in farming.
Vision and Goal
Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation envisions an engaged community in which women and girls have achieved equity, safety, reproductive freedom and access to opportunities in life.
Involving people, applying knowledge and making things happen. We take as our Motto “Peace, social justice, diversity, fun and democracy as key values” which guide us.
‘Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation’ is registered as a Trust with Mr. AKARAONYE Samuel, Engr. Greg Ntiwunka, Mr. Joseph Ehioma and Ms. James Rosita Nkeiruka as the Board of Trustees. The ‘Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation’ Team is currently led by Chief Augustine Anyanwu and comprises of Mr. Dominic Anyanwu, Ms. Agnes Bassey, Mr. Ezekiel Uche, Ms. Anthonia Chuke etc.
Aims and Objectives
The overriding objective of the project is to ensure that Girls in Lagos and Imo, especially n rural communities will not have to miss school simply because they are menstruating. Other objectives are to ensure that: • To improve school attendance among girls between the ages of 10 and 17 years in primary & Secondary schools; • To increase access to vulnerable adolescent girls with sanitary towels and comprehensive menstrual hygiene management knowledge and risk awareness of HIV&AIDS among in-school and out of school girls between the ages 10 to 17 years; • To increase the self-esteem of needy girls between ages 10 to 17 years; • To improve economic status for out of young women between 18-34 years; • And to document lessons learned and scale-up options documented.
The project was implemented in the rural communities in Lagos and Imo State, comprising of young girls numbering about two hundred and fifty in attendant. The direct beneficiaries are girls between the ages of nine years to seventeen years.” We organized series of seminars where we educate them about menstrual hygiene reproductive and health related issues. The beneficiary's need being met through this project includes: provision of reusable sanitary towels (pads) which are the preferred sanitary protection for most women and girls. And while pads are preferred, the disposable ones are expensive. Still, many adolescent girls and women in Nigeria have limited knowledge about their bodies, especially in relation to menstrual hygiene and reproductive health.
For young girls in poor rural settings like Makoko Community who often receive minimal instruction on what menstruation is and how it can be managed, the experience has been described as frightening, confusing and shame-inducing. Thus, menstrual hygiene management capacity building will be another service provided through this project. The product is compelling to the users due to the following reasons: • It is a hygienically approved, high-quality, affordable reusable product that responds to users tastes and preferences for self-comfort and personal hygiene. • The product can be used for a period of more than one year. Thus, the girls will be able to attend school without worrying about menses and through this project there will be a significant reduction of girl-parent dependency for sanitary towels every month. • Through the use of the Huru sanitary towels, issues of environmental conservation will be realized as the pads contain fewer chemicals compared to the disposable pads. Generally, the taboos associated with menstruation have ultimately led to reduced levels of confidence and active involvement of girls in schools. The taboo related loss of confidence among girls has had direct impacts on girl’s exposure to risks such as early pregnancy, marriage and HIV AIDS. In schools, there is usually a lack of physiological education while at home; advice (traditionally given by aunts and grandmothers) is often insufficient. Therefore, this project is compelling as it seeks to bridge the gap that exists in limited knowledge about the biological process of menstruation among the girls and women. Giving the girl child Hope The type of relationship that each of our beneficiaries expects us to establish and maintain is a personal assistance approach given the personal nature of the product. As such, this project envisions providing exactly that personal touch through the trainings that will be offered at two levels: • To the female teacher focal points and the training sessions to be conducted in schools before distribution of the pads and during the monitoring visits. • For the women in the neighbourhoods, the girls trained will be expected to relay the same information to them and also inform them where the product can be found.
The impact of the underlying problem on the target population.
Female students face great challenges in terms of hygiene and sanitation. For girls who are menstruating, these problems compound the difficulties posed by the inability to afford sanitary towels as well as cultural taboos around menstruation. As a result, many girls miss on average four days of school every month which is over a month in a year, meaning they fall behind in class and sometimes even drop out of school altogether. This is an added challenge to the already existing problems that lead to the high dropout rate of female students in primary and secondary schools. The main problems faced by women and girls are:
• The expense of commercial sanitary pads;
• Absenteeism where girls stay at home rather than attending school
• Unhygienic ways to dry menstrual materials;
• Inadequate waste disposal facilities;
• Lack of privacy for changing menstrual materials;
• Leakage from poor-quality protection materials;
• The lack of resources for washing such as soap;
• Limited education about the facts of menstruation;
• Limited access to counselling and guidance;
• Fear caused by cultural myths;
• Embarrassment and low self-esteem;
• And the unsupportive attitudes of some men.
S/N DESCRIPTION AMOUNT
1 Support from CWO women $300.13
2 Sales from the foundation entrepreneurial ventures $950.75
3 In-kind contribution $450.01
4 Anonymous donation in support of the program $500
Grand total $2,200.89
S/N ITEM QTY RATE AMOUNT
1 Meeting costs (conference, refreshment etc.) 4 $37.53 $150.13
2 Program materials 10 $5.056 $50.56
3 Volunteer/Staff appreciation 6 $50 $300
4 ICT Development 1 $95.32 95.32
5 Communication and telephone bills ---- $78.25 $78.25
6 Graphic Artist 1 $50 $50
7 Sanitary Pads 1000 $1.5 $1500
Grand Total $2,224.26
Grand total of expenditures= $2224.26
Difficulties and Challenges
One of the challenges also that hinders our progress and drawing us backward in realising our project goal is lack of capital and sponsorship. We call on all to support us in the fourth coming little by little fundraising campaign coming up in April 4th through 8th.
Sustainability of the Project
The ability of our organization as a whole to survive and to meet our mission goal, we embark on an entrepreneurial venture, as a way of raising money for community, financial and organizational sustainability. The foundation runs a food production, processing and packaging factory. We have been partnering with a company in processing our food items for sales. We are working hard to build our own factory for our organizational sustainability, and to help youth that have vocational skill to acquaint themselves with entrepreneurial skills to be resourceful and useful to themselves and society at large. The procurement of the necessary equipment for production, processing and packaging of organic raw materials(food) and construction of a multi-purpose hall that will accommodate our factory and other activities is our priority, we can achieve this through external sources like grants and long-term funding or through internal sources like income-generating activities or membership fees. And to actualize our mission and goal, we have these points as our guiding principles: Collaborative leadership, member-driven decisions, effective communication, change-ready and adaptive workforce continuous improvement, on-going evaluation and measurement, sound financial infrastructure.
Annexed below is a sample of this section that has been drawn from the project report of ‘Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation’ – a non-profit organization that works with young adolescents, youths and adult in rural Communities.
*Overview of the Program:
We at ‘Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation’ very much value exposure, interaction and peer learning processes. Our recent interactions with more than 20 Communities have reinforced this belief. We are now looking out for support to create 2 youth resource and Empowerment centers in southeast, Nigeria where young, adult etc. can come together, co-create learning experiences and contribute positively to the community development. We plan to utilize these resource Empowerment centers as spaces for involving the youth and adult in “self-development” and ‘social action’ projects of various kind. 'Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation’ has the required experience and expertise to design and run social action campaigns. We feel campaigns are great opportunities to demonstrate leadership skills, highlight social issues, develop deeper understanding about issues and mobilize young people. Campaigns give energy and take care of youth and adult needs such as fun, interaction, novelty etc. We want to organize a campaign each year highlighting youth action.
What we have achieved so far?
‘Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation’ is now an accepted name in more than 35 Communities. Our volunteers are personally known to tens of thousands of families in southeast. As a part of self-development initiative, we have conducted workshops in more than 25 Communities in the last 3 years with a direct outreach of approximately 4000 people in the last 3 years. We have so far organized one major campaign in nearby villages where they went and identified families who were not buoyant enough to Carter for their family’s needs.
Since the beginning ‘Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation’ has been running out several programs in Communities promoting spirit of volunteerism and celebrating youth led social action. We have organized a major social action project titled ‘Change for life’ in 10 large Communities with an approximate outreach of around 23000 peoples. This project involved collecting and donating used and unused clothes blankets, shoes, food items to the needy.
What we propose?
Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian foundation wants to transform how people in the community think, act and talk about menstrual hygiene. We aimed to make more impact, circulate more information into the community and expand activities and events to support disadvantaged girls. This will depend on obtaining funding and other forms of support as any costs currently incurred to run events are out of pocket expenses. Additionally, they are actively engaging with more community centers, the local council and NGOs to support the SOHF and its expanding activities.
We will design and run campaigns involving adolescents’ young people and adult from rural and urban areas every year starting with the end of year 1. This will help to consolidate their learnings and create awareness about social issues.
Given the increased risk of child marriage and teenage pregnancy amidst school closures, educating a girl-child and keeping them in school is important to health and development-not only for the girls but for their communities and countries. When girls stay in school, they are less likely to get HIV infection, wages go up, teenage pregnancy rates go down, and the children they have are healthier. Join Sam Onyemaechi Humanitarian Foundation in the crusade to better the lives and wellbeing of our girls.