OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Providing FHM & WASH solutions to vulnerable IDP women for disease prevention

Our program teaches women how to maintain good FHM & WASH in areas of conflict and/or natural disasters to prevent life threatening disease.

Photo of Susan Stasi
5 0

Written by

What specific problem(s) are you trying to address?

Women and girls in rural Sub Sahara are raised without knowledge of menstruation or the importance of sanitation. Persons who are deaf are even more vulnerable. We not only teach about FHM and WASH, we show how to make washable sanitary pads and hand wash stations. The rural communities offer additional challenges due to poor access. We bring our workshops into the villages, labor camps and refugee camps so that women & girls are in their own environment and feel comfortable discussing sensitive topics and finding answers to their questions.

What are some of your unanswered questions about the problem(s) you are working to address?

There is a high prevalence of deafness in African children. It appears that this phenomenom occurs due to the lack of healthcare in the rural communities. It will be interesting to see if the Lake Victoria region has a high number of deaf children as a result of the living conditions.

Explain Your Idea

Our program of SRHR education has been successfully implemented in Cameroon due to the collaboration with local NGOs. We find that villagers are reticent to accept information and knowledge from an outsider, however by working with local natives, we have been able to reach those communities that would otherwise be difficult to access. We work with individuals who have suffered similar difficulties to create a communication line between those suffering and the facilitator. Due to this approach, we have successfully entered labor camps, refugee camps, villages and prisons and bring a spark of hope to these vulnerable women and children.

Name the three most important ways that your idea will address your identified problem(s).

Currently there are 100's of women and children that are internally displaced along the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda. The area is highly polluted, disease and HIV transmission is 3X the rate of other communities, lacks community services and is creating a health crisis in the region. Our program will: 1. educate women on menstrual health & hygiene 2. explain how to make safe water & the importance of sanitation 3. provide information on services available for disease prevention and care.

How is your idea unique?

We are unique as we provide solutions to global problems, i.e., for feminine hygiene management (FHM) we educate about menstruation, the menstrual cycle, and hygiene; we distribute washable sanitary pads and then show them how to make their own. The same approach is used for water and sanitation. Lack of safe water is a huge problem and people are unaware how to make it safe or understand why hand washing is important to prevent disease. We show them how to make their water safe, how to store it, and how to make a handwash station. Our program teaches women how to become self-sufficient. We are aligned with the SDGs #4, 5 and 6 and are working to help communities to be sustainable.

What are some outstanding concerns or questions that you have regarding your idea?

Working in conflict areas is not an easy venture. Poor road conditions and inclemental weather makes access to rural communities extremely difficult. Working with those who are familiar with the landscape and climate changes helps to address these concerns but certainly doesn't eliminate the difficulties that arise.

Who are your end users?

Our program is targeted to girls of all ages and is inclusive of all capabilities. We are advocates for the disabled as they are a vulnerable population and need the most help. The rural communities as previously indicated are difficult to access, and many times have cultural traditions that create barriers to assistance from outsiders. The benefits have already been described as far as improved health and welfare. The area surrounding Lake Victoria has 100's of women and children that are suffering from poor health and disease. We hope to realistically reach several hundred women, but access will define the actual number of people who will benefit from our outreach program.

Where will your idea be implemented?

  • Uganda

What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?

  • Prolonged displacement
  • Community at risk of disaster

Tell us more about the emergency setting that you intend to implement in

Proposed project implementation will be located in the Masaka region and will be collaborating with educator and school director, John Ssentamu, and St. Benedict Program for the Deaf, with Paul Zirimenya. Both individuals are Ugandans and have cultural/political ties in the country.

What is your organization's name?

Rose Academies, Inc.

Tell us more about you.

Rose Academies, Inc. is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that is located in Santa Clara, California. We partner with several NGOs in Cameroon and Uganda. Our CEO of Rose Academies will be the main coordinator of this project and implementation will be a combined effort of HOVO (Hope for Vulnerables and Orphans - registered NGO in Tiko, Cameroon), Good Shepherd School in Mukungwe, Masaka, Uganda and St. Benedict Program for the Deaf Uganda Ltd., Kampala, Uganda.

Organizational Characteristics

  • International/global organization

What is the current scale of your proposed innovation?

  • Global - within more than 1 geographic region globally

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

Expertise in Sector

  • Yes, for more than a year.

Organization Location

Rose Academies, Inc. - 501(c)3 - USA; HOVO (Hope for Vulnerables & Orphans) - NGO -Cameroon; St. Benedict Program for the Deaf Uganda Ltd.-is in Uganda; Good Shepherd School is in Masaka, Uganda

What is your organizational status?

  • Registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.

What is the maturity of your innovation?

  • Roll-out/Ready to Scale: Completed a pilot and am ready / in process of expanding.


Attachments (1)


There are 16.7 million girls that are out of school in the Sub Sahara for a variety of reasons. The lack of knowledge of sexual/reproductive health is a major component that keeps girls from pursuing their education once they hit puberty. We have developed educational programs about puberty, WASH, and FHM to reduce the barriers that keep girls and Deaf children out of school.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Tyson Rock

I am very impressed your work and am appreciate this shared information. keep sharing this link in your friend circle because this is a most important site from solving windows error. all the available info is fully free and without any requirement.

View all comments