CAPIO Establishes Reusable Sanitary Pad Factory in Suleja Custodial Centre.
In line with CAPIO’s objective of ensuring improved treatment of female inmates in Nigeria, with funding support from Voice Nigeria, CAPIO organized an empowerment program at the Suleja Custodial Centre (FCT Command). The training is a comprehensive program on the production of reusable sanitary pads which is aimed at improving the menstrual health of female inmates and enhance their skills for their effective reintegration into the society.
In line with Voice’s policy of “Nothing About Us Without Us,” CAPIO established Association of Female Inmates and Returned Citizens (AFIRC) which is one of the deliverables of this project. The Association championed the project as the right holders, while CAPIO was merely an implementing partner. In collaboration with Pad Up Africa, AFIRC and Voice Nigeria, the training commenced on the 19th October 2020 with thirty (30) AFIRC members and 10 Correctional Officers as participants. Training materials and equipment such as; sewing and weaving machines, pressing iron, sealing and bottling machines, bulk materials for pad production and others were procured and effectively utilized for the training. The assimilation of participants was quite impressive as they can comfortably produce pads on their own currently.
The graduation ceremony of the participants held on Wednesday, 20th January 2021 at Suleja Custodial Centre and participants were given Certificate of Participation. Produced pads were showcased at the ceremony, some were sold, and publicity was created through social media and traditional media.
Presently, there is a high demand for produced pads and in order to sustain the gains of the project, CAPIO rented and fully equipped a shop for AFIRC currently headed by Lucy Dangana (the President of AFIRC) at Garki Internation market, FCT, Abuja-Nigeria. Over 2000 pads have been produced so far out of which Pad Up Africa bought a large chunk. Ex-female inmates all over Nigeria can locate AFIRC shop in Wuse and be trained free of charge. In making sure that inmates and ex-inmates all over Nigeria benefit from this initiative, CAPIO plans to replicate this intervention across all Commands of the Correctional Service of Nigeria subject to availability of funding.
CAPIO is optimistic that with this novel intervention, female inmates will be easily re-integrated into the society and the rate of recidivism will be curbed to its barest minimum. The beneficiaries are grateful to AFIRC, CAPIO, Voice Nigeria and Pad Up Africa for the empowerment program. According to Lucy Dangana (President of AFIRC), “this project has positively affected my life as I have been economically empowered for life”.