NewsBlack History Month

Cass Tech community project helps Ghana women make feminine products

Posted at 5:06 PM, Feb 03, 2023

DETROIT (WXYZ) — We're shining the light on Cass Tech and young students helping kids a world away in West Africa.

RELATED: Detroit ministers empower Ghana women to make feminine products due to lack of hygiene supplies

The cloth on a table at Cass Tech is being cut and sorted into piles by these young students.

Their diligent work is helping girls a world away.

“What they basically are are washable sanitary pads, so the girls here at Cass Tech are helping us by cutting out the fabric that I will take to Ghana,” says Dr. Adrienne Johnson.

Women in Ghana will use this material to make reusable sanitary pads. Dr. Adrienne Johnson and her husband started what's called the Wo Ye Bra Program in Ghana.

A young lady in America says I'm on my period. That's what Wo Ye Bra in Ghana means, they're on their Wo Ye Bra,” says Johnson.

Before this village girls would be shamed, some committing suicide. Many are forced to use newspaper or twigs instead of sanitary napkins.

Now these girls in Detroit are learning what a difference their work can make.

“We're in America affecting a whole nother continent of girls,” says 10th grader Lubana Butem. “I think it's really powerful to see a lot of young ladies that are excited to help and do a service project. Hearing about the suicide made me really sad, so I'm happy doing this small act can make a really big difference for them.

This young lady says girls in her home country of Bangladesh are suffering in similar ways.

“I think I was really attracted to it because it's really important to help those less fortunate and I felt really bad for those girls.”

It's also an empowerment program for women in West Africa. They are given sewing machines and trained to make these sanitary pads to sell. and these girls are helping change lives.

“They are excited about helping,” says Cass Tech Principal Lisa Phillips. “They did not even hesitate they said we're in.”

This service project sponsored by the Rotary Club of Detroit will create 200 reusable sanitary napkins that will last more than a year. More importantly, this act of kindness is teaching girls here at home and abroad the impact of giving back.

These Cass Tech students will meet the girls they are providing the pads for through Zoom soon.