When we visit the girls and women and distribute the menstrual sets, we always do a Reproductive Health Education Workshop with them. This workshop can last from 1-3 hours depending on the questions that the girls ask.
There are a few guidelines we follow before a workshop:
1. The leader, elder, headmaster is fully aware of the topics we are going to cover in our presentation.
2. No men are allowed during the presentation.
3. An interpreter that has a good relationship with the girls and women attending the presentation is there with us. Even if the girls know English, some topics covered won’t be familiar to them. Having someone who can explain in their own language helps them relax.
We always start with telling the girls that we are not nurses or doctors, just women like them who go through the same thing as they do each month.
We use ourselves as examples and we speak honestly about our own experiences. Most of the participants have never had “the talk” and know little about their own reproductive health. We are open and honest and we have fun! It may seem embarrassing but we are providing a huge service for these girls and women who often have to hide in shame when they are menstruating.
We then open the floor up to questions. We have been shocked by what some of the young girls ask but we always make an effort to never show it. Their life experiences are completely different from ours. WE NEVER JUDGE or CRITICIZE.
We always end the presentation by telling them that they now have this knowledge and must be the teachers for the girls and women in their community who did not attend the presentation.
Our presentation package gets longer and longer based on the new questions that the girls ask. If you’d like to see a copy, let us know and we will share the link. It is not proprietary knowledge so please feel free to use the resource for the benefit of the community you serve.