Professor Ajume Wingo, a Prince from the Kingdom of Nso, was traveling by bus in his homeland of Cameroon, Africa, when he witnessed a young girl being ostracized by fellow travelers when she found herself menstruating for the very first time. Lack of education around menstruation led to this girl's unnecessary humiliation and shame. After coming to her aid and explaining that menstruation is a normal process and nothing to be afraid of, he vowed to do all that he could to ensure that no other girl would experience that shame again.
This experience had such a profound impact on Ajume that he decided to start PridePads Africa, a 510(c)(3) committed to providing access to affordable, biodegradable sanitary pads, menstrual health education and livelihood empowerment for girls and women in Africa. On average, rural schoolgirls miss four to six days of school every month while menstruating, which contributes to gender inequality, child marriage and teenage pregnancy.
Having been raised in a matriarchal society, Ajume clearly recognizes that the stigma surrounding menstruation and the lack of access to sanitary pads and proper feminine hygiene education has compromised women's health and their opportunities for far too long. He hopes PridePads Africa inspires women around the world to unite in supporting its mission to help free girls from senseless obstacles and empower them to change their communities for the better.
Stephanie Carter is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, activist and visionary. In 1999, Carter became one of the early pioneers of the sun protection apparel movement when she launched Boulder, Colorado based Wallaroo Hat Company. Since Wallaroo Hat Company’s debut over two decades ago, Carter has grown the company into a leading global brand and certified B Corporation.
Prior to founding Wallaroo, Carter practiced law for ten years. She is also one of the co-founders of the Hanuman Yoga Festival in Boulder, Colorado which just celebrated its ninth anniversary. She served on the Board of Advisors for GlobeIn, a brand dedicated to supporting ethically made artisan products from around the world as well as the Board of Directors for the Boulder Ballet for over a decade. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Headwear Association.
Carter is passionate about projects that have a global impact and she is one of the co-founders of PridePads Africa. She has been working alongside Professor Wingo for the last two years to bring menstrual hygiene education and access to sanitary pads to girls and women in Cameroon.
Mary F. Shackelton, MPH, ND is a board certified Naturopathic Doctor who has been providing integrative and naturopathic care to patients in Boulder for over 20 years. She owns and runs an integrative clinic in Boulder, Holistica Integrative Care. The focus of her clinical practice is on chronic disease, environmental medicine with an emphasis on women’s health. Dr. Shackelton is a member of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, Naturopathic Association of Environmental Medicine, Colorado Association of Naturopathic Medicine and the American Association of Naturopathic Medicine.
Prior to moving to Colorado Dr Shackelton was active in providing diabetes education to underserved populations on Native American Indian Reservations and ran a state-wide coalition for Tobacco Control in Arizona. In 2000 she co-founded Insulite Laboratories - a company dedicated to reversing disorders related to insulin and was the Naturopathic Physician on staff for the First Disabled Ascent of Mt. Everest in 1998.
She is raising 3 children in Boulder and is currently writing a book on the environmental impact on having a child on the autism spectrum. As a co-founder of Pride Pads Africa, she brings her commitment to serving others and strives to make a significant impact on the educational outcomes for women and girls in Africa.