Vasikana Project is a non-profit organization aimed at empowering girls by providing puberty education and safe, dignified ways for young girls to manage their periods.
We strive to do this by:
Publishing a puberty education booklet that includes a cut-out pattern and instructions to create their own reusable pads.
Providing workshops on general hygiene, breast self-exams, body image, and building self-confidence.
Demystifying menstruation and eradicating some of the taboos centered around the subject.
Creating self-sustainability projects for women to sew their own reusable pads.
Tuition scholarship program for girls.
We believe all girls can embrace who they are,
can define their future, and can change the world.
To ensure that young girls, and women in rural areas and other underprivileged communities have ways to empower themselves by providing puberty education and safe, dignified ways to manage periods and building self-esteem and guidance.
We come from a background of strong women. In Shona they say “musha mukadzi’, which loosely translated means that it is the woman who makes the home. It is the women who worked from dusk to dawn, for the betterment of not only themselves but for other women in their communities. One such woman was our mother, Judith Zivhu Mereki Dzapasi who taught us humility and the love for community service and the art of giving.
Why puberty education you might ask? Because we want to carry forth our Mother's legacy of initiatives that empowered women.
In the late '80s, way before women sexual empowerment was acceptable in Zimbabwe, “Mbuya Hutano” together as part of a team of dedicated and like-minded women, rode on her bicycle from one homestead to another, talking to women about safe sex and contraceptives, giving women control over their bodies.
Why the name "Vasikana Project"? Vasikana in the Shona language popularly spoken in Zimbabwe means Girls. Our mother gave birth to 7 girls and two boys. As girls we were taught from an early age how to do our chores in addition to helping with the farming. Our mother was house proud and ran a tight ship. As soon as were old enough, she would volunteer us to an aunt who needed help watering her garden or if our grandmother needed someone to assist with the harvest, she would send us girls, ‘Vasikana!’
Our father was an entrepreneur at heart. Often times he would initiate a project, arrange for our mother to attend relevant training and then leave her to execute and run the project. She was his right hand lieutenant. Over the years, there were the ‘Huku’ (chickens) project, the nguruve (pigs) project, the mazai (eggs) project, majuzi (sweater) project and the garden project just to name a few. All these projects generated income that sustained all of us.
When a task needed to be done, she called on "Vasikana" - her girls,
to assist. Hence the name Vasikana Project. We honor you mom, we could never walk in your shoes, but we can carry on your legacy!