Raising Menstrual Awareness, and Creating a Lasting Change

27th August 2019

Women’s menstrual health is often under discussed. Access to proper knowledge about hygiene (sanitation) and the associated health risks are limited, especially in rural villages as they often face cultural barriers (often cross with cultural taboos).

Volunteers (from Left to Right) Shani Simmons, Luchhen Lama, Nanako Yamazaki and Vaneesha Gogna with the posters they made for their menstrual awareness session in Aam Dada.

We held awareness raising sessions with women’s groups in Aam Dada, and our team worked with the local women’s committee to discuss menstrual health and hygiene. Nearly 30 women from various age groups gathered to learn more about the menstrual cycle, the symptoms of Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) and the consequences of poor menstrual hygiene. The teaching materials were created by the volunteers and were translated by the Nepali volunteers in the team. Additionally, we also held a reusable pad making session. During this session we demonstrated the steps to make proper reusable sanitary towels out of cloth and cotton. The napkins (pads) serve as a cost effective, environmentally friendly alternative to the conventionally used store-bought sanitary towels or bare cloth that the women in Aam Dada were widely using.

Participants of the menstrual awareness session in Aam Dada held by Raleigh Volunteers

We believe that the knowledge we were able to spread during our session will not just stay with the attendees of our session, but will pass down from mother to daughter, and through generations; creating a bigger circle of impact. The interactive session that we held, brought us and the people of the community significantly closer as we worked side by side, to achieve the same goal. The responses we received from the women’s committee were positive, and it was this moment when we felt lasting change taking root in the community of Aam Dada, Nepal.

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Text by Nanako Yamazaki

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Youth In Civil Society Youth Voices Raleigh Expedition Nepal