Thursday, January 24th, 2019 marked National Girl Child Day in India. The occasion, which began in 2008, is a day to celebrate the girl child and more importantly to raise awareness about the various issues that plague young girls and women around the country. To read more about the life of a girl in India, check out our blog here.
This year, in keeping with the National Girl Child Day theme of “Empowering Girls for a Brighter Tomorrow”, GiveHer5 tied up with the Akanksha Foundation to spread the message about the importance of menstrual hygiene to the girls at one of the Akanksha schools in Mumbai.
Our trainers and volunteers conducted several sessions with girls aged 10-16 (grade 5-10), asking them what they knew about menstruation, the correct, safe and clean use of sanitary products and the importance of menstrual hygiene to prevent infection, reproductive complications and to promote overall health.
At the end of the session, the GiveHer5 team distributed a pair of Saafkins to every girl at the school, and demonstrated how to use the product, how to wash and dry it. The sessions were extremely interactive with the girls both asking questions, and giving answers to the questions that they were asked.
The day ended with the GiveHer5 team interviewing some of the teachers at the school, and also talking to the principal about some of the challenges they faced teaching pubescent girls, and how they tackled the relatively taboo topic of menstruation and menstrual hygiene awareness.
The support, appreciation and gratitude we received was overwhelming, and all the teachers and the students believed that the attendance rate in the school would increase thanks to the Saafkins which were distributed and the increased awareness of the girls.
We hope to replicate this project with other Akanksha schools around Mumbai in the near future.