Month after month – becoming a woman shouldn’t be torture
With the taboo subject of menstruation, we are addressing girls directly in schools. We found out that they don’t know anything about their period. Our midwives and health assistants explain to the girls that it is a completely normal biological process and discuss shame, superstition, silence, myths and stigma together. During these conversations one can clearly see the “burden of guilt” that falls from her shoulders. Some girls do not even want to believe that all women in the world, regardless of religion or origin, whether rich or poor, even those in the big mega-cities are affected by it.
Menstrual hygiene – homemade
The girls have not yet heard of menstrual hygiene. In the remote areas there are also hardly any options for hygiene during the period due to a lack of privacy and lack of toilets. Sanitary towels are not available for sale, most of them use old fabric scraps. This results in many unnecessary health problems and infections, even among young girls.
So that they can help themselves in the future, our team teaches the students to sew their own sanitary towels from local and inexpensive material. The pads are washable and can therefore be reused for some time. Then you can make new ones.
Break taboos with education
These training courses give the young girls self-confidence and the new information they gain strengthens them. The teachers carry the information into class so that the boys are also factually informed about menstruation.
In addition, we make sure that the girls at the schools have functioning toilet rooms that offer privacy and adequate washing facilities. No student should stay away from classes out of shame and fear when nature takes its course.
A clean affair for the environment too
In order to permanently solve the problem of disposing of the sanitary towels, we have installed simple incineration boxes. These are locally produced incinerators for around 500 sanitary napkins each, which we connect to the toilets of the secondary schools in our project schools. This gives the girls the opportunity to practice menstrual hygiene at school.