Sustainable Period Projects: Creating a #PeriodFriendlyWorld

In the lead-up to Menstrual Hygiene Day (May 28th, 2024), EduSpots’ Ignite Equity Clubs implemented sustainable period projects throughout April and May. The global theme for this year was “Together for a #PeriodFriendlyWorld”.

EduSpots’ Ignite Equity Club is a space for promoting gender equity, hoping that boys and girls are empowered through different conversations, collaborations and perspective-shifting education while rooted in their own communities. 

Given this, the Ignite Equity Clubs were required to take part in sustainable period projects, in which they had to identify a problem in relation to period poverty in their community, and create a solution that can be sustained in the long run. They had an option to think about this in the context of planning for and running a social enterprise. This was a holistic experience for learners. They engaged in important discussions relevant to their local needs and surrounding the problem of period poverty e.g. discussions about  limited access to menstrual hygiene products,  varying menstrual experiences among girls in the community etc. Learners got to work together as a team with the support of Catalysts to brainstorm through their period projects, carefully reflecting on how a sustainable, rather than a one-off solution, can be devised. 

In total, 23 Spots participated in these projects. Across them, they:

  •  Were given a total grant funding of 21,530 cedis — this is around 1,000 cedis per community. 
  • Impacted around 2,041 individuals as different communities carried out their own initiatives.

Educational event at Akumadan

The effects have certainly rippled beyond the learners: some Spots such as Metsrikasa and Ampatano held public sensitisation and awareness creation projects that involved healthcare workers, parents, students and learners. Akumadan, Asemkow and Savelugu Spots organised workshops on making reusable sanitary pads. Disposable pads were also distributed across some communities. These were very exciting initiatives in which conversations were sparked surrounding the menstrual cycle, different available menstrual products, as well as ways to manage pain and any fluctuating body image issues. Gifty from Akumadan Spot emphasised how ‘it was a moment of creating an open and understanding environment as “stigma surrounding menstruation”, alongside other topics, were discussed. 

Reusable sanitary pads workshops at Asemkow and Akumadan 

Rita Otabil is the strand leader for Ignite Equity at Ampatano, and she identified how teenage pregnancy was a lingering issue in the community that hindered girls’ pursuit of education. She found it difficult to consistently meet with the girls to share knowledge on staying safe. When she came across EduSpots and Ignite Equity, she “joyfully accepted the challenge to join so as to help [her] broadcast [her] knowledge of self protection”. Menstrual hygiene was her first activity with the learners, and she reflected on how “the topics learnt so far has helped to instill a higher level of confidence”, and allowed the girls to “know whom to reach out to for support”. Rita described the lasting change Ignite Equity helped to create, where girls are equipped with the knowledge and support system to thrive. 

Several Spots have also launched their enterprise as a source of fund-generation that can be reinvested in period projects. This process demanded careful planning and organization, equipping learners with transferable skills as they were guided through identifying community needs, creating marketing plans, and using profits to address period poverty. Agbledomi and Techiman Ameyaw launched an enterprise selling detergents, and the community at Ejura decided to sell local soaps. 

Detergents enterprise at Agbledomi

Catalysts have also been conscious of including boys in these activities and conversations: Janet from Aboufour relayed that their Spot taught boys how a sanitary pad is used, while Arahamatu from Bimbilla recalled the excitement and joy of the students, “especially the boys”, when the community was given the period grant. Spots also distributed bar soaps and shower gels to the boys to encourage personal hygiene. 

Next Steps

EduSpots’ Ignite Equity Club emphasises the need for a holistic approach, as we understand that different individuals have different needs and challenges. It provides a platform for both boys and girls, offering diverse activities to foster a comprehensive and inclusive environment. The clubs are structured around monthly themes, creating engaging discussions and activities on topics like preventing sexual harassment, building assertive communication skills, exploring career options etc.

Through the club, we will continue to nurture mentor-mentor relationships in communities, and encourage more Spots to set up their Ignite Equity clubs while providing the necessary support and training for Catalysts. 

EduSpots is extremely inspired by our communities! Please do continue to follow along with our news on the Ignite Equity strand via EduSpots’ website

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