Red Diamond 2 is a project funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands aimed at sensitizing and educating women, boys and girls about the importance of menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in schools, communities and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. The project with focus on gender equality, good health and well being, prevention of early forced marriage, dispelling the myths and taboos around menstruation while empowering women in the process, began on May, 2017 and ran for a period of three years in four states namely: FCT, Benue, Borno and Kebbi States.

In partnership with the Red Diamond 2 project, HAFAI implemented the project’s objectives which was to promote gender equality and equal opportunity by improving knowledge about menstruation and dispelling myths, taboos and stigma around it while empowering women in rural communities.

The specific objectives were to:

  1. Prevent girls missing days out of school.
  2. Provide sustainable menstrual hygiene solutions to girls.
  3. Enhance dignity, good health and prevent early forced marriage.
  4. Tackle poverty by empowering women in rural communities.


  • Needs Assessment

Needs assessment was done in FCT, Benue, Borno and Kebbi state and our team selected the schools, communities and IDP camps that the intervention would be most impactful and where there is hardly any intervention of any sort especially in the informal IDP camps in Borno state. 

  • Findings/Field Experience

In rural Nigeria, menstruation is often associated with impurity, secrecy, shame, discrimination and stigmatization, which further influences how the issue is handled at home. For example, husband and wife may maintain separate quarters while the wife is menstruating. Some women worry about how to dispose of their used pads due to fear that they may be vulnerable to witchcraft. It was also discovered that women and girls use all kinds of unhygienic materials like leaves, mud, newspapers, cow dung, dirty rags, foams, tissue paper, etc to manage their menstruation, all of which could lead to infections and infertility in the future if not properly treated.

HAFAI’S Impact

HAFAI worked with 45 Junior Secondary Schools, 22 communities, 4 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps and 1 Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) skill acquisition center in four different States namely; Abuja, Benue, Maiduguri and Kebbi States. Furthermore, HAFAI also trained and distributed over 8,000 reusable pads, 130 sewing machines, 225 certificates and starter kits with over 4,000 beneficiaries who received reusable kits and menstrual hygiene readers in schools. 8,000 students (boys and girls) received training and Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials with over 200 women beneficiaries in communities, 1,700 women beneficiaries in IDP camps who also received HAFAI reusable kits and about 50 women beneficiaries in VVF skill acquisition center.

Women and girls received training on menstrual health education which cut across menstrual hygiene management (MHM), how to use and maintain HAFAI reusable pads, different absorbents used to manage menstruation with other components related to education, gender equality, empowerment, human rights, health and well-being which affects the role of girls and women in their communities. School girls also received lectures on ways to prevent HIV/AIDS and the negative effect of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The boys received training on personal hygiene, puberty, consequences of Gender Based Violence, the need to support girls during their period, and also received lectures on health education, dispelling the myths and taboos around menstruation, and the negative impact of RAPE.

The women were also trained on the use, production and maintenance of reusable pads and at the end of the training they received sewing machines, starter kits, certificates, refreshments and stipends to help them start up their own businesses.

Women Empowermrent - HAFAI
The Red Diamond Project