“To be born a girl is a gift we are given. To become a real woman of wisdom and courage is a gift we give the world.” –Marianne Williamson
In November of 2013, Eco Femme ran the Menstrual Health Workshop with 9th and 10th standard girls at Udavi, an Auroville Outreach School in Edayanchavadi. Following the sessions, the 9th standard girls took on an exciting and inspiring project: teaching the 8th standard girls about menstruation, different menstrual products, and menarche celebrations around the world. This project was part of a mini-Pilot to explore the potential of peer-to-peer menstrual health education. Providing relatable information on menstruation is important for girls of all ages, but especially for girls who have not yet reached menarche or who have had only 1 or 2 periods, as this is the time of most fear and anxiety. Peer-to-peer education is a potentially comfortable, positive, and empowering way to introduce girls to menstruation. With the fabulous support of their biology teacher, Dominique, and other teachers at Udavi, the 9th standard girls mastered the material, learned how to stitch cloth pads, explained it all confidently to their peers, and got the chance to start a chain of menstruation education at Udavi School. The girls really enjoyed reading and presenting about world-wide menarche celebrations from the book ‘Cycling to Grandma’s House.’ After the sessions, girls said they felt ‘bold, ‘confident’, ‘happy’, ‘excited’, and ‘reduced shy.’ They have been given the gift of being born a girl, and are well on their way to becoming women of wisdom and courage!
Plans for Growth: Scaling up the Menstrual Health Workshop
In January 2015 we will begin to implement a plan supported by USAID and Dasra to scale up our Menstrual Health Workshop; we aim to reach 10,000 girls across the country over 2 years. We look forward to creating new partnerships with organizations working with adolescent girls around the country, and to continuing our work here in Tamil Nadu. We’ll keep you updated on our scaling up progress through the coming editions of this newsletter.
We are happy to announce that it is now possible to ‘gift a pad’ and support the facilitation of the Menstrual Health Workshop independent from pad purchases; you can now make a donation directly via our website. Your contributions directly enable adolescent girls to access sustainable menstrual products and an educational program, which make it possible for them to experience healthy, dignified, affordable, and eco-positive periods.
Thanks and Welcome
Thank You! To... Saphara in Northern Ireland, Girl Power in Japan and Webvrouw in The Netherlands for generous donations to support the Menstrual Health Workshop and to all of our customers for supporting this work.
Welcome to our new implementation partners:
Voice 4 Girls in Andhra Pradesh
We Are Young Foundation in Assam
We plan to share a newsletter with you quarterly and we would welcome your feedback or suggestions for things you would like to hear more about through these newsletters.