Learning to love and talk about our bodies is not easy especially if our society and families attach shame to it. We are breaking the stigma through designing a variety of programs and organizing events to enable young girls to celebrate their periods and love their bodies.
Here we share some programs we've run in the past, as well as some of our exciting upcoming projects!
Community & School Outreach
We organise outreaches to schools and communities in the rural areas of Uganda for youth facilitators to teach menstruators and non-menstruators about menstruation, including menstrual health, facts and myths, how to use different menstrual products, and how to make reusable menstrual pads (cloth pads). During these outreaches, the team also donates menstrual products to those who do not have access to proper sanitary products.
This is an annual event that takes place on the 24th of December. The team packs menstrual products as Christmas gifts for women and girls that live on the streets and slum areas of Uganda. No girl deserves to be sad during this time of the year - Christmas should be a festival of love, hope, family and joy, so that’s what Menstrual Santa brings.
This program focuses on boys, reaching out to 1000 boys every year to teach them about
periods, their own body changes, importance of learning about periods as boys and how they
could take part in ending the period stigma.
These will be permanent booths where girls can go and get emergency menstrual pads in case they suddenly start their periods. These hubs will be equipped with clean water, soap and menstrual products. It will clearly state that you can only use 1 menstrual product to allow others to also have access. Hubs will also provide fliers, brochures or manuals to increase access to important information around menstruation. People can also come to these hubs to donate menstrual products.
We will establish menstrual clubs at different primary and secondary schools around Uganda with fully published manuals about menstruation. These clubs will have annual meetings to showcase their accomplishments and interact with one another.
National Menstrual Challenge
This is an annual quiz competition for schools taking part in the Menstrual Club initiative to share their knowledge concerning menstruation and to open up conversations on this stigamatized topic in a fun, engaging way. This will also equip youth with public speaking skills and will provide them with opportunities to network with different individuals and schools.
This will be a week of learning about social work, developing ideas, menstruation, life skills and leadership, in which the attendees will be taught practical ways of implementing their ideas. At the end of the training, we will choose ambassadors that will work with us to advocate, serve and educate different communities for the year.
This will be a place where the production of reusable pads will be carried out. The place will provide volunteering opportunities for youth who can come and sew pads, knickers and bags for other girls in the villages. This will increase the access to menstrual products, as well as equip youth with sewing skills. The pads, bags and knickers made at the sewing centre will be distributed to girls during the school and community outreaches.
Families Menstruate Together
Children learn most values through their families, because it's who they spend a lot of time. But most of the time, important conversations about our bodies are ignored. This program documents how periods are discussed amongst families and help parents start such conversations and how to support their children during this phase of their life.
This initiative supports prisons in some parts of Uganda that are facing challenges with managing periods. We train women in Jinja prison on how to make reusable pads, which are later distributed to other prisons to help other prisoners manage their periods.
This is where we have girls seek professional medical advice, ask questions about their bodies and get answers from gynaecologists. This will ensure girls follow healthy hygiene routines, hence reducing factors that hinder the girl’s dreams.