public health

WEEMA Expands Public Restroom Access

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Over 2 billion people throughout the world live without access to sanitation infrastructure and services, causing environmental pollution and creating a public health issue. While numerous efforts have been centered around building bathrooms in homes, many public spaces are still without latrines.

WEEMA's Latrine Project aims to increase health and safety by installing restrooms in public spaces around Ethiopia.

In Tembaro, thousands of women walk many miles each week to the central market. During their day spent in the market, they do not have access to safe and sanitary bathrooms. Acting on this need, WEEMA collaborated with the local urban development department to construct three public latrines in this market space.  

WEEMA is committed to pursuing community-centered projects that promote the health, wellbeing and dignity of the residents with whom we work. With the completion of this project, we celebrate the opportunity to expand the sanitation infrastructure of the area.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@weemintl) to hear more about this project and its impact.

International Women's Day

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This International Women’s Day, we are proud to celebrate women everywhere by announcing WEEMA’s new project, Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management in Kembata Tembaro Zone for School Girls at Saruma Primary and Middle School.

Due to cultural norms, menstruation is not openly discussed or well understood, so girls tend to endure challenges in silence. Without access to sanitary pads, many girls often have no choice but to use rag clothes or other unsanitary alternatives. Besides the discomfort and risk of infection from using rags, girls are also afraid of embarrassment from an accident if using a rag while at school. 

In Saruma, as in many similar rural schools, menstruation is a common reason for school absenteeism and even school drop out.

This project aims to change mindsets of girls, boys and parents concerning menstrual health. WEEMA will teach about menstruation health and hygiene management (MHHM) in order to break stigmas and keep girls in school. We will also distribute MHHM kits produced by Studio Samuel Foundation.

These kits include:

  • soap
  • underwear
  • a washcloth
  • two reusable pads
  • plastic bag

Studio Samuel is an NGO whose life skills training  includes teaching girls to sew high quality reusable pads using locally sourced materials through peer-to-peer learning. You can learn more about them here.

In the true spirit of women’s empowerment, WEEMA and the school will organize to show the school girls short videos and stories of successful women in leadership.

Listen to these rural farmers- they can see again!!

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WEEMA International won a "best practice" health award for its cataract work in Ethiopia.  WEEMA, with its partners Himalayan Cataract Project and the zonal health departments, has hosted 3 high volume cataract campaigns in Kembata-Tembaro and Haydia Zones and served over 2000 patients.  In recognition of this work, a large Ethiopia NGO association made a "best practice" film.  We clipped some of the patient stories to produce this short trailer (note, you will hear shifts in music in the background.)

Watch this sweet trailer below.

IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE FULL 18 MINUTE "BEST PRACTICE" SEGMENT, VIEW HERE.