empowerment, girls’ education on menstrual hygiene and ensuring
that girls stay in school even when on their periods.
EcoJC Pad was a vision inspired from Girl Child Network Sierra Leone a National Non-Governmental Organization that seeks to promote the rights and holistic empowerment of the girl child in the home, school and community in Sierra Leone. GCN was established by Betty Makoni in 1998 out of the helplessness and hopelessness of the girls in Zimbabwe with the view to assisting girls in their quest for emancipation.
Anita Koroma and team from the UK decided to replicate GCNW girl’s empowerment model in Sierra Leone 2011 in order to address the current trend of teenage pregnancy, sexual abuse, education/career pathway, sexual reproductive health (Menstrual Hygiene), early sex and marriage, child abuse and right, Confidence-building and non-achieving life of the girls to create renewed impetus to push Sierra Leone forward.
In 2011, Founder and CEO of EcoJC Pad and Girl Child Network Sierra Leone Anita Koroma started Menstrual Hygiene Management training/advocacy and producing reusable pads in 2014 which are made with materials that are environmental friendly, provide education on menstruation and empower women local women and girls.
Benefits of reusable sanitary pads
Disposables are the 3rd largest consumer items in landfill
Pads made with cloth are generally more absorbent than disposables
On average woman will spend at least $100 dollars on disposables per year. Whilst our kit cost
Disposables run the risk of having toxic and hazardous chemicals to be absorbed into the body
Reusable pads are much easier to clean than you might think
Reusable pads lasts at least 2+ years depending how well you look after them
Reusable pads feel amazing against your skin
Quick drying time
1 hour drying time
Our pads comprise of four main components
This fabric has direct contact with your skin and is made with soft and comfortable fleece material
The terry towel
The snaps and eyelet fasteners allow for ease of wearing. These are placed on the wings of the pads and are used to keep the pad in place when worn.
The final layer of the pad always include a layer of polyurethane laminate, which provides extra security as it is water resistant layer
This is the layer of absorbency. The fabrics we choose to work with are comfortable and protect the environment.
How did it happen?
In 2015, founder of EcoJC Pad, Anita Koroma, started sewing handmade cloth pads with 20 girls from 5 slum communities in Freetown with support from Concern Worldwide Sierra Leone. The initiative was supported by Irish Aid by purchasing 50 kits of our reusable pads and with that we were able to get 2 sewing machines.
Also, with contributions from Dr. Kerry from Ireland we were able to get an additional 2 sewing machines with proceeds from a cake sale fundraising. In 2016, Teenage secretariat in collaboration with Irish Aid to celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day supported the initiative and with this we were able to get 12 more machines.
In 2018, we produced 1,000 kits for UNICEF Sierra Leone in a single room space. As a result of the high quality and efficiency of our products and services, UNICEF recommended us to San Francisco in partnership with BRAC – Sierra Leone to produce 400 kits for young school girls.
In 2019, we partnered with Orange-Sierra Leone to produce 2,000 kits for school girls in western rural and urban areas in Freetown. Since we started in 2015, we have went on to produce 25,000 kits in 2018, 15,000 kits in 2019 in collaboration with UNICEF Sierra Leone. We now have a factory in Bombali district, Makeni, where we have created many job opportunities for women and young women.
Our Mission and Vision
EcoJC Pad’s mission is to support, promote and empower women and girls economically through entrepreneurship, innovation and opportunity.
We are a social enterprise that specializes in the local manufacturing and supply of reusable sanitary pads as a cost-effective menstrual hygiene solution for millions of women and girls.
EcoJC Pad is working to empowered women and girls to enjoy their rights with support from their communities and society so they can walk in the fullness of their potential. We mobilizes whole communities, homes and schools to eradicate the culture of silence and taboo that dominate menstruation so as to support and develop an enabling environment to promote and protect the rights of women and girl.
EcoJC Pad envisages a society where women and girls especially school going girls have access to information and knowledge about their bodies during menstruation and how to manage it, access to affordable and hygienic sanitary materials and disposal options, menstruation is seen as a normal biological process and not something negative, shameful or dirty.
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