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The Latest News from SaCoDe, September 2023

Launch of the 9th SaCoDé community centre in Makamba province

On 31 May 2023, the community center of SaCoDe in the province of MAKAMBA was solemnly launched with the financial support of AMADE. Being the ninth community center after those of Muyinga, Ruyigi, Ngozi, Gitega, Cibitoke, Gatumba, Karusi, and Kirundo, the MAKAMBA center has a production center for AGATEKA washable and reusable sanitary towels.

The opening ceremony was attended by the representative of the Governor of MAKAMBA province, the administrator of MAKAMBA commune, all the zone chiefs of MAKAMBA commune, all the hill chiefs of MAKAMBA commune, the MAKAMBA district chief medical officer and representatives of non-governmental organizations and the United Nations working in MAKAMBA.

The center was opened as part of a project to improve the dignity of women and promote menstrual health and sexual and reproductive health among young girls and women in Makamba province. Thanks to the opening of this center, SaCoDé has employed more than 20 young people and women from MAKAMBA province, including 15 disadvantaged girls and women who have been trained in the production of AGATEKA washable and reusable sanitary pads.

Help us Empower Women, and Youth in Health promotion and menstrual hygiene
  • Establishment of "AGATEKA" washable and reusable sanitary pad production centers in 5 new provinces of Burundi: To increase access to "AGATEKA" washable and reusable sanitary pads across the country, SaCoDé is establishing production centers close to the communities. Moreover, these locations serve as retail outlets for "AGATEKA" washable and reusable sanitary pads. As of today, SaCoDé has opened eight production centers in Bujumbura, Gitega, Karusi, Cibitoke, Kirundo, Ngozi, Muyinga, and Ruyigi.

  • Recruitment and training of vulnerable women and girls on the method of making washable and reusable sanitary pads: The "AGATEKA" project, which makes washable and reusable sanitary pads, aims to improve living conditions for girls and women. Through this project, SaCoDé teaches sewing skills to girls and women living in precarious circumstances. Women with disabilities and those from the Batwa communities are among those served by SaCoDé. The women are hired into SaCoDé's production centers after completing the training.

  • Improving access to washable and reusable "AGATEKA" sanitary pads, with or without underwear, through community sales: SaCoDé uses the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) model to sell washable and reusable sanitary pads in the community. Using this approach, women are encouraged to save to meet certain needs they are unable to meet on their own. Menstrual pads and sanitary pads are among the items women need during their menstrual period and after childbirth. With this approach, SaCoDé engages its beneficiaries, especially girls and women, in this collective process.

  • Education and sensitization on menstrual hygiene and health for a behavior change: In most societies, especially in Burundi, menstruation is stigmatized, and surrounded by silence, myths, and taboos. Menstruation management is therefore challenging for many women and girls. There is a possibility that they lack the means to obtain what they need in this period, or that they face discriminatory cultural norms or practices that make maintaining good hygiene difficult. There are also consequences, such as a lack of access to basic human rights like education, employment, and health care. As part of this project, SaCoDé organizes awareness sessions in communities to break the silence surrounding menstrual hygiene management and to improve their health. Several channels are used for sensitization, including radio, mass sensitization, community leaders, and video projection.

  • Fundraising and free distribution of "AGATEKA" washable and reusable sanitary pads to school girls: To promote menstrual hygiene in schools, SaCoDé is raising funds to produce "AGATEKA" washable and reusable sanitary pads. Funding comes from multiple donors, while the purchase of a package of "AGATEKA" washable and reusable sanitary pads finances the production of pads for the most vulnerable.SaCoDé produces "AGATEKA" washable and reusable sanitary pads, which are then given to schoolgirls and other disadvantaged women for free. In the "AGATEKA" program, schoolgirls are also taught menstrual hygiene management.

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