In Penka-Michel in West Cameroon, Céline Magnéché Ndé Sika founded Affamir, a nonprofit committed to eradicating poverty and promoting education to help young people take control of their lives. One thing she is adamant about is that no girl should miss school or see her dignity threatened because she does not have access to sanitary pads when she has her period. The organization is developing actions to educate the population on sexual and reproductive health issues in coordination with schools in other regions and plans to create a social enterprise that will make and sell feminine hygiene products.
Affamir is one of the winners of the 2021 International Prize awarded by Fondation la France s’engage (FFE), which supports the development of innovative initiatives championed by players from the social economy. TotalEnergies Foundation was the first private stakeholder to get behind the FFE program when it was launched by the French government in 2014.
Affamir helps prevent teenage girls from missing school when they have their period*, and from dropping out altogether. The nonprofit also organizes presentations on sexual and reproductive health issues in middle schools to promote the empowerment of girls.
* The problem concerns one out of ten girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to UNESCO.