Menstrual Hygiene project.
SUWA started work in Bendue state in some of the many newly erected IDP camps in and around the state capital Markurdi, working with the women and children in March 2021. SUWA works with the abused women/girls offering trauma, group support and helping them find new hope and energy to continue with life. One of the help-requests from the women and girls was for practical, material support during their menstrual period. No pads are available, they are forced to use old rags, increasing the risk of infection, and surrounding them with the horrible smell of old blood which in turn drives them to stay isolated inside their huts. SUWA can officer the women/girls a ‘Dignity Kit’ at $10 each which contains reusable pads, soap, underwear and a bucket.
The reusable pads are produced locally by Pad-up, c a major producer of washable and reusable sanitary pads in Africa. As a social company, they have provided over 1 million girls and women in 13 African countries with access to sanitary pads that will last them a minimum period of 1 year while creating 93 permanent Jobs. Over 15,030 businesses are created for women who distribute our products. They have trained over 400,000 girls and women on menstrual hygiene management and reproductive health. Padup believes that every girl/woman should find pride in their period irrespective of their economic class or location. https://www.padupcreations.com/about.php
Other needs in IDP camps:
Food many of the IDP camps are home to over a thousand people so you can image how much food is needed to run the camps. Food is always a need as supplies run out very quickly. Without livelihood opportunities to help the people living in these camps to earn income, they struggle to purchase even the most basic necessities, including the food they need to keep their families healthy and strong. They need food items like rice, corn, beans, cooking oil, flour, Fruits, vegetables and canned foods.
Hygiene items Most IDP camps are crowded or makeshift shelters without proper water or sanitation systems: Primary school building, abandoned buildings — wherever they can find relative safety. These dire conditions can have disastrous consequences on their health and morale. Without basic hygiene supplies to help them stay clean, people are at heightened risk of disease, malnutrition, and losing the confidence needed to face an uncertain future. Hygiene items like soap, toothpaste, reusable sanitary towels and razors are essential to helping them stay healthy and maintain their dignity.
Newborn supplies Life doesn’t stop when someone becomes an IDP — people still have happy milestones like getting married or having a baby. But caring for a new baby in a camp can be especially challenging. Newborns need bottles, blankets, clothing, mosquito nets, diapers, formula, and cereal to stay healthy and safe. Not all mothers are able to nurse their baby, and this is due to certain health condition, or lack of milk supply.
Medical In nearby cities such as Markurdi one can find hospitals and clinics, however these are often far from the camps and don’t have the capacity to receive the enormous influx of the Internally Displaced People. Many die in the camps of preventable and treatable diseases.
Shelter A place out of the scorching sun, protected from rain and wind as well as a place offering safety from insurgency is important, yet in most cases not available.
Clothing and Shoes There is an ongoing need for this, especially for the growing children and for protection against cold and rain. During the rainy season the camps become a muddy place where diseases are rampant.