Best Projects 2018 features all the nominated entries submitted to the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition under ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs. If you want to know the 10 finalists in this category click HERE
Explain your project in details:
In Haiti, the menstruation of women is a barely thematised issue and it is still a taboo subject there. An essential difficulty is that those women use a piece of cloth, leaves or any other unhygienic alternatives as their bandages. Due to a missing of proper bandages there, women have to stay at home during their menstruation and even girls do not attend school. They are afraid of leaving home, for they cannot ensure that no blood or bloodstains are shown on their clothes. They fear a bullying by others, wherefore, they are excluded from social life and miss education. Furthermore, the hygienic conditions in Haiti are very poor, especially in the rural areas. For instance, the significant numbers of earthquakes are one reason for the poor water quality which increases the risk of infections and health issues in Haiti. Palmadora is a project that wants to help those women during their monthly menstruation and it wants to encourage them to live a confident and self-determined life. Our plan is to clarify the menstruation as a natural process of female human beings and that nobody has to be neither ashamed nor afraid about it. In that context, we want to produce sustainable and degradable bandages that are easy to change and dispose. An essential aim is to produce the bandages by local women, ensuring the opportunity to earn a regular income. Additionally, the bandages will be made on a basis of natural, locally grown and cost-efficient products such as high absorbing coconut substrates and banana products. We conceptualise a reasonable price for those sanitary towels to guarantee that every woman can afford them. At this moment, we try to get in touch with local partner organisations to establish a network and improve the situation of women in Haiti.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Palmadora wants to produce degradable bandages. These bandages consist of banana leaves and coconut substrate. This shows that the raw materials are sustainable and recycleable. Furthermore, women can do a job by making and tying these bandages. Therefore, we create sustainable jobs for women. Various indicators can be used to measure the success of the project. Given that we want to teach women how to produce these bandages, one possible measure of success would be a rising number of jobs. Furthermore, an indicator of the success of Palmadora could be a falling infection rate by women in Haiti. Another approach to measuring success is the school drop out rate, because lots of girls do not go to school while they have their menstruation so far. This is one reason why many girls stop completely at school. Palmadora wants to improve this situation so that girls can have a good education and women have a better life.
Sustainability and future plans
Palmadora wants to change the life of thousands of women. We support them with our product so that they can have a better school education and a self-determined life. Additionally, to that, the women shall be more integrated in the society and flexible. Palmadora aims to create sustainable and recyclable bandages from local products, e. g. banana leaves and coconut substrate. These bandages are a good alternative to the usual expensive or unhygienic bandages. They are cost-efficient and hygienic. This also reduces the risk of infections. To get the attention of the women, we are looking for different types of partners, labors and help on our own. We need partner organizations and partners for a production facility, raw materials, packaging and transport. We want to promote our project with seminars in schools, the help of our partner organisations and work with local hospitals. In order to produce these bandages for women, we want to offer special courses of instruction. In addition to that, the women who produce the bandages will be able to sell them on the local market and therefore get the attention of other women. The product should be boxed in plain packaging to prevent unwanted attention from others. In this way, we also want to promote equality and independence for women in Haiti.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
Palmadora is a group of eight students from different study programs: Nuray Abdel Razek (21), Ann-Katrin Carstens (21), Dilan Kaya (23), Merle Peters (22), Anna Thoms (22), Kim Wetzelt (21), Henrik Wolken (24) and Luisa Zillinger (23). Our development team consists of horticultural science students with experience in botany and degradable plants. They are responsible for the design of the bandages. The finance team consists of students of economics who take care of the projects budget. Furthermore, our team, responsible for marketing as well, has been to many different developing countries and is aware of some of the prevailing hygiene issues there.