We realised that throughout school we shared the same embarrassment when talking about periods. It wasn’t until University that we had felt entirely comfortable about discussing all things relating to our monthly visit from 'Aunt Flo' - what a shame that this confidence had to come at such a late age, years after we had both started menstruating. Menstruation is such a natural and healthy phenomenon which we should never have felt ashamed of.
Having friends to talk to about periods and sharing experiences and stories was a big factor in building our confidence and breaking down this unnecessary taboo society has built around it. We wanted to empower girls, from a young age, to talk about their periods in an open and honest environment, and create a culture of period positivity within schools. This was the spark, our very own ‘light bulb moment’, which began the project.
We contacted our old school, and came up with a sustainable approach that would empower students to lead. We recruited ‘Period Positive’ champions from the L6th year who delivered our teaching material to the rest of the school. We wanted the teaching to promote a big conversation amongst all the students within the school. The way we delivered the material was almost as important as the content itself in encouraging a period positive culture.
We wanted to discuss period stigma and poverty, demonstrating how the two are linked, to raise awareness about the extent of the problem and emphasise the similarities between people’s experiences of periods globally. It is clear that girls in both the UK and Uganda respectively were suffering unnecessarily.
The response has been incredibly positive and we are really excited to see how it develops. Phoebe, one of the amazing Period Positive Champions, had this to say about the project,
“I enjoyed being able to openly talk about periods with the girls, and I hope this will help them to feel more confident talking about them too… I believe we have helped the girls by telling them about the various aspects surrounding periods e.g. what products are available, and when something may be unnatural.”
The future plan is to inspire more girls to become champions so that we can end period poverty and shame for future generations of girls.