Like every noble act begins with a step, the Iyanu Reusable Pad Empowerment Project (IRPEP) began with the founder; Iyanuoluwa Sonde realising the innovative solution to the continuous procurement of pads for girls and young women. This project, with the intention of distributing reusable pads, then needed the collaborative efforts of the Nigerian Girl Guides Association, Ogun State Chapter and Olave Baden Powell Society of Nigeria, while The Bees Digital Agency, OGTV, and A&V Media Concepts served as Media sponsors.

Iyanu Reusable Pads

The goal of the project was to distribute 600 pads to 300 girls and young women in the Kajola and Odo Ijesha Community of Obafemi Owode LGA, Ogun State, and it was slated for Friday, 9th of July, 2021 and the volunteers were to move from Iyana Mortuary by 10:00 AM.

It was now the day and time, and the volunteers were on their way to actualize the project. With the Nigerian Girl Guides dressed in their uniform which included a scarf around their neck, clearly showing the name of the association, other volunteers were on white and pink Tees which had the logo and project name boldly written on them. We left Iyana Mortuary around 11:00 AM, and with two representatives of OGTV joining us on the way, we were now a total of 20 people on the bus.

Iyanu with the Nigerian Girl Guides Association (Ogun State Chapter) and Volunteers

The trip to the Kajola community led us through the Ajebo road of Ogun state, as we drove between and past heavy-duty vehicles transporting soil in different forms. We got to the Palace of the Kabiyesi of the Kajola Community around noon and we met students of the Olorunkole Grammar School awaiting our arrival. The initiator of the project; Iyanuoluwa addressed the students and explained the reason behind the project and the goal of the project. The pads were packed in pairs, so each student got 2 in one pack, which were to be used interchangeably.

The students with their reusable pads

They also signed consent forms agreeing to the use of the pictures and videos taken on social media. The joy of the students was obvious and well crafted on their faces, and in appreciation, Okeowo Anuoluwapo expressed her gratitude to the Iyanuoluwa and all the sponsors, she said: “I appreciate the NGO and Sister Iyanu for their cooperation… I’m happy that they came to lecture us on how to use the Reusable pads… I thank them, may God bless them in Jesus name”. A total of 84 students and an estimated number of 16 women made up an estimated total of 100 beneficiaries in the community. The beneficiaries were taught how to use the pads so that they can effectively use them for 2 years before they are replaced with a new set. After this, we went in to greet and take pictures with the Kabiyesi, then we left and were on our way to the Odo Ijesha community.

The students signing consent forms
The Kabiyesi with the IRPEP Team and students

When we got to the Odo Ijesha community, the atmospheric condition was welcoming as it was really cool, and the odour of the “garri” that was being fried could not be missed. After the women had settled, they were addressed about the project and an explanation on how to use the pads was given. One of the women asked about how they can get a new one when it’s time to replace and Iyanuoluwa explained how they can make their own when it’s time. An estimated number of 35 women were beneficiaries here. One of the women, Mrs. Folarin expressed how she felt about the project, her face lit up with smiles and she had this to say in Yoruba but has been translated as “We thank everyone that donated the pads to us, I say thank you. Their organisations will continue to soar and excel…and we’ll also continue to be grateful…”. They all expressed their gratitude and walked away with their pads in their hands.

The Women of the Odo-Ijesha Community

 

Here’s Iyanu explaining how to use the pad to the Women

When Iyanuoluwa was asked how she felt about the project, she started with gratitude: “I want to use this opportunity to thank the Olu of Kajola for allowing us to distribute the pads to the community. I also want to thank the Baale of Odo-Ijesha for this great opportunity to meet the community people and distribute the pads..”, she also extended her gratitude to all the sponsors and everyone who made the project a success. She went on to say that: “This project will help these women and girls to be able to manage their menstruation period hygienically, safely, and with confidence. With this, they will be able to use healthy materials (healthy sanitary products) during their menstruation…”

After spending one hour at both communities, it was time to leave and the journey was shorter this time as we continued conversing all the way back.

The IRPEP Team with some of the Media Sponsors

If you want to know more about reusable pads and this project, reach out to the IRPEP team via Instagram IRPEP

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