Water and Pads for School-Girls          Empowerment for Life!



The development of the project

The IAW Project “Water and Pads for Schoolgirls” intervenes with the aim to provide a basic knowledge of sexual and reproductive health to school-girls in rural areas.

The IAW Triennial Congress in October 2017 at Cypres unanimously adopted the design proposed by Gudrun Haupter and Ursula Nakamura-Stoecklin. They both were chosen as the coordinators of the project.

At the same time a steering group was established. For all IAW delegates coming from affluent or developing countries it was important to promote this project of solidarity.

From left: U.Nakamura, G.Haupter, R.Sayid, S.Vahlun.

Not on the picture: Seema Uplekar.



Seven IAW member organisations were involved in the Water and Pads project right from the beginning. They worked ever since in Cameroon, DR Congo, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Zambia. They all were well aware of the problematic conditions in their respective regions and were extremely grateful for any support.

In October 2018 the IAW delegates gathered for a Board Meeting  in Berlin. There the now detailed draft was again unanimously adopted. It was highly interesting to hear the reports of the delegates who are involved in the project in their own region. 
Two more people joined the steering group:

Natalie Kostus and Anne Pelagie.
From left: G. Haupter, U. Nakamura, A. Pelagie, R. Sayid and S. Vahlun.


IAW International Meeting at Geneva 25-27 October 2019

It was great that the activities in Pakistan and Zimbabwe could take place at the beginning of October, just in time before the IAW International and Board meeting at Geneva.The delegates could follow the whole development of the Water and Pads project during the last year. For all  it was a great chance that Rita Marque from Zimbabwe and Anuarite Siirewabo of DR Congo were present. So Anuarite talked about the security problem when visiting lonely villages, and Rita Marque pointed out how difficult a menstrual hygiene management is in regions with scarcely any water. Both of them are convinced that the project has to continue also in future, because its positive impact on girls and young women in isolated rural areas is extremely important.
The IAW member-organisations in Cameroon, DR Congo, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Zambia know very well the problematic circumstances in their region and are utterly grateful for any assistance.


Evaluation of the situation of the WP project at the meeting in 2019:

       Seven highly motivated IAW organizations

       Great success about menstrual  education in schools with students, parents and teachers

       Positive coverage by regional media

       4 brochures have been finalized and edited, 3 of them are printed

 6 IAW organizations are implementing or planning their WP-activities in 2019  

Strong wish from all participating organizations to continue!

Future goals:

Continue the WP activities in the selected schools – become sustainable!

 -enable the 7 IAW organizations to continue the WP activities in their region     

       -distribute reusable pads for teaching in all schools selected by the 7 IAW organizations

       -promote the local production of reusable pads by women in small businesses

The 7 IAW member orgasnisations  the selected schools had contacted the teaching personnel and clarified the local needs. Their urgent wish was to get age-adapted suitable teaching material on menstrual hygiene and health education. Concretely this means simple printed brochures, like "ABCs of being a Girl" from UNICEF Malawi (English) and UNICEF Burkina Faso (French) for the grade school level.

Thanks to the cooperation with Swiss Sexual Health and others IAW could also edit a booklet for the secondary level. It is called "Entering Womanhood" .

To succeed more finances are needed!
This project is built on solidarity. IAW is thankful for all financial or other support.
Read more here.

Water and Pads for School-Girls          Empowerment for Life!