She has empowered over 500 young people with the knowledge and information they need to make good health choices and to feel good about themselves!
My favourite thing about these sessions is that the young people are in control, they lead the discussions and we let them develop their own shared understanding. We cover basic topics but allow them to discuss issues and subjects that they may be curious about often addressing their fears, worries and concerns.
I chose Irise because they focus not only on girl's sexual and reproductive health, they teach an inclusive curriculum that includes everybody. Teaching young men and boys that menstruation IS something they need to know about as having a shared understanding of each other's bodies, helps to create a more friendly and supportive environment for girls during adolescents, that's how you reduce the stigma.
"The education we deliver is honest and upfront, it also feels personal to me as I get to deliver these sessions in my local area, making a difference in my own community"
I also like the fact that you get to work directly with the founder of the organisation, working with Emily makes it seem a lot more honest and intimate, it doesn't feel corporate or commercial, but personal. The team is very approachable which makes it more enjoyable.
We asked Bianca to describe her experience volunteering
with Irise in 3 words...
Educational - "I learnt so much about anatomy, puberty and even about my own body that I didn't know before joining Irise!"
Gratifying - "When you can see that you have really helped a young person, if they have come to you to ask a question and walked away feeling more knowledgeable, confident and reassured, thanking you for your advice, you know you've made a valued difference"
Valued - "Not only is the feedback from the young people really inspirational, it's also the feedback from the team. They ask for your opinion, input and evaluations, making you feel like a valued, respected and equal member of the team."
Susan has been with Irise since the very beginning, she started as a volunteer whilst she was still a student and is now inspiring girls through our education
Thanks to women like Susan, our education and training programmes have enabled us to reach over 70,000 young women and girls with the information they need
to stay in school!
My favourite thing about my role is the leadership because from the beginning I have led my team and I have learnt a lot from being a leader. I have been able to develop my personal skills and team leadership skills throughout my journey with Irise.
I chose Irise because I studied ethics and development and I was looking to do community and social work. When I heard about Irise I felt so inspired and had such a passion for what Irise do.
"My dream has become my reality"
My greatest achievement has been my progression from one role to another. I started with Irise in 2012 as a volunteer, now I am the Project Officer and lead a team of 13 educators, so moving forward is a great achievement! Reaching our targets each year is also a great achievement, this the number of girls we aim to educate and support, and with more resourced we aim to reach even more girls!
We asked Susan to describe her experience working
with Irise in 3 words...
Supported - "I think when I first shared why I was so interested and passionate about Irise's work they recognised how I could contribute, they supported me through funds and the team members always being there for me."
Encouraged - "When we started the Menstrual Hygiene Management program, I was a recent graduate who quickly became a leader, this really built my confidence! The team who I worked with were always there for me, encouraging me to move forward and be a better person."
Motivated - "I feel motivated because my team have always been there for me and have included me in strategic discussions, valuing my opinions. They made me feel part of the process and at times when I had various challenges, they would support me and be on my side. I have a future with Irise and I can make it to the highest level for this program!"
A special thanks to both Bianca and Susan from Irise for not only for sharing their stories but most importantly for the fantastic work that they do!