Our mission is to give young girls the knowledge and facilities necessary to develop and maintain good menstrual hygiene practices that are critical to their health and education. Through this project, young women will improve their knowledge of the biological process of menstruation, and learn healthy management strategies. This project also aims to contribute to the accomplishment of United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #5: Achieve Gender Equality and Empower Women at the Grassroots Level.
- A national survey conducted by AC Nielsen and NGO Plan India found that in India, 23% of girls drop out of school after reaching puberty.
- Inadequate menstrual protection makes girls aged 12-18 years miss up to 5 days of school each month and up to 50 days each year.
- Only 12% of India’s 355 million menstruating women use sanitary napkins. Over 88% of women resort to alternatives like unsensitized cloths, ashes and husk sand. Incidents of Reproductive Tract Infection (RTI) are 70% more common among these women.
- Many parents are not knowledgeable enough to educate their daughters about the biological changes associated with puberty. Cultural stigmas also prevent discussions on this topic.
- Due to inadequate menstrual protection, girls often feel uncomfortable and shy away from participating in classroom and extracurricular activities.
Menstrual Friendly School – Breaking the silence
This critical step towards implementing hygienic practices in rural locales consists of breaking through the taboos associated with menstruation. Positive and informative conversations can foster an understanding regarding this natural occurrence experienced by all females, prepping young women with the appropriate knowledge to manage this biological transition in a safe and healthy manner. Additionally, creating safe spaces for women and girls to host such open discussions is also essential in eradicating the fear and shame associated with menstruation.
- Managing menstruation hygienically and safely: This step is dedicated to securing access to adequate water, cleansing materials, and private spaces for hygienically managing menstruation.
- Safe reuse and disposal solutions: Ensuring that environmentally-friendly mechanisms for safe reuse, collection, and disposal of menstrual wastes are available.
Our Work So Far:
Since November 2013, we have:
- Installation of sanitary napkin vending machines with sanitary napkins.
- Installation of sanitary napkin incinerator for safe disposal.
- Menstrual Hygiene Education through Seminars.
- Menstrual Hygiene Management Club in every school that consists of students and teachers dedicated to educating their community on this topic.
- Availability of sanitary pads that are subsidized to a rate of ₹2.00, compared to the regular market price of ₹8.00.
- 63 Menstrual Friendly schools that benefit nearly 10, 397 girls in Punjab, India.
- Significant improvements in school enrollment and attendance among female students.
- Improved confidence levels among female students and reduced feelings of hesitation when participating in activities while menstruating.
- Our model has also been followed by the State Government of Punjab, which started a similar project in 2019.
- Demand for this project in schools continues to increase at an exponential rate, as we continue to receive several requests from schools each month to implement this project in their schools.
Total Funding by Rotary Club of Grande Prairie, for Healthy Girls Healthy Future: $38,860
- Donated $ 3700 in the FY 2014-15
- Donated $ 1000 in the FY 2015-16
- Donated $ 7560 in FY 2016-17
- Donated $12000 in FY 2017-18
- Donated $5600 in FY 2018-19
- Donated $9000 in FY 2019-20