May 28th was International Menstrual Hygiene Day. This year’s theme was It’s Time for Change.
Pure Water for the World teams in Haiti and Honduras were very busy, working in several communities with students, parents, teachers, and community leaders to provide critical education about the female menstrual cycle. The engaging and interactive activities were all conducted with the goal to eliminate taboos about menstruation and provide the tools and education for girls and women to safely and effectively manage their monthly cycle.
In Léogane, Haiti, the PWW team designated three days to providing MHM (menstrual hygiene management) training and activities.
On May 24th, activities were conducted with three different groups…women of the community, students, and teachers.
- Community Women. The team met with 25 women leaders. The women were provided with training to increase their awareness and to enhance their understanding about the menstrual cycle. These women are now able to educate their children, and other women in the community, about menstrual health, including the essential steps for safe and healthy menstrual hygiene management.
- Students. At Nouvelle Vision School, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was conducted, officially opening the school’s new WASH station, complete with a hand-washing station and gender-specific toilets. This new facility will enable students to utilize healthy hygiene practices at school, supporting their overall health and wellbeing, and it provides a safe space for female students to manage their menstrual cycle…empowering them to stay in school and achieve an education!
- Teachers. The PWW team met with 25 teachers to help them understand the challenges female students face in school, related to menstruation, which are preventing them from fully participating in school. The teachers were provided with training to proactively and effectively address these challenges, which, in turn, will support female students with staying in school.
On May 27, the PWW team met with established PWW volunteer Community Agents in Darbonne. The goal of the meeting was to provide these community leaders with a comprehensive understanding of menstruation, including effective menstrual hygiene management tools and practices. The Community Agents are now able to use their gained knowledge to promote menstrual health education in their communities.
And, finally, on May 28, Menstrual Hygiene Day, the PWW team gathered with the Community Agents and students of l’institution Mixte Nouvelle Vision, Collège Metelus de Léogane. The large group participated in a peaceful march in the streets of Léogane to raise awareness about the importance of menstrual hygiene management and to break down taboos about menstruation of women and girls.
It was a very successful range of activities, with hundreds of people across Léogane actively participating in Menstrual Hygiene Day events. We look forward to watching the girls and women in this community thrive!