Support for menstrual health for girls in India

by Indian Dreams Foundation Vetted since 2012 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit Site Visit Verified

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Indian Dreams Foundation!

It is our pleasure to share the report on the progress of our project SMILEY DAYS that is dedicated to educating, empowering & aware adolescent girls and women for their menstrual health and hygiene issue. Under the project, we are targeting school girls from age 11 years onwards as well as communities' girls & women those are not enrolled in any schools. 

The project team is rigorously working to spread knowledge on Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) through awareness workshops, health camps, individual counselling, focus group meetings & provide them free menstrual kits that include sanitary pads, vaginal wash, panty etc. Moreover, we have formed SMILEY GIRLS GROUPS in the schools that work to bridge the gap between IDF team & school girls and regularly provide updates on girls’ health issues. We have also trained few school teachers for MHM.

Recently, we have organised an awareness workshop at an open area of the slum named Gopal Pura, WARD NO -2, Agra district to target slum’s women and girls. We have chosen open space for making them realise that Menstruation is not a topic of shame & disgust, even not a topic to discuss in the surrounded or closed rooms. However, Menstruation is a matter of Pride, Dignity and Sign of good health.                          

The workshop was interactive. Girls & women were directly interacted with the team & discuss their problems. During the interaction, various issues related to menstruation (including proper menstruation hygiene management, how to use cloth during periods, follow healthy habits and importance of nutritional diet etc.) were discussed.  More than 130 girls & women participated & received free sanitary pads.

This time we have extended our project to deliver information & knowledge on sexual reproductive health rights to the young women of the slums. Regarding this IDF team is surveying "Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights" of the slums' women and married girls in Agra district. The team has done surveyed approx. 650 girls & women from ten slums so far. Our target is to survey about 1000 girls & women by the mid of the July 2018.

Thank you, everyone, for your support & well – wishes.

Do contribute to help us for the cause that can change the lives of underprivileged girls and women.

Warm Regards,

Indian Dreams Foundation

  

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Indian Dreams Foundation!

It is a pleasure to share our recent report on the progress of Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Project "SMILEY DAYS". Under this project, we believe Menstrual hygiene is fundamental to the dignity and well being of women and girls and an essential part of the basic hygiene, sanitation and reproductive health services to which every women and girl has a right. Every girl has the right to access information on menstrual hygiene and proper sanitation facilities at their home as well as in the schools.

In Past few months, Smiley Days team has been rigorously working to provide education on Menstrual Hygiene Management to the school girls as well as slums girls who are not enrolled in the school and access them hygiene kits to manage their menstruation with dignity. We realise to every girl that Menstruation is not a matter of shame even it is a matter of Pride, to being healthy is everyone’s rights!  

We have conducted more than 20 Awareness workshops in different partner schools and reached more than 2000 girls.

Recently, we have conducted an Education Workshop on Importance of Menstrual Hygiene Management for the wellbeing of Women at S.S.M. Inter College, one of our partner schools. The interactive methods have been used to disseminate knowledge on Menstrual Hygiene Management like;

  • Interactive session with Gynecologists (female specialist),
  • Knowledge sharing session with different stakeholders like women, girls, school teachers, principals etc. 
  • Focus Group Discussion,
  • Access to information to understand the menstrual cycle and how to manage menstruation hygienically,
  • Access hygiene products to all the participants (Girls & Women) to follow hygiene practices during menstruation.

The workshop was concluded in eight sessions followed with refreshment for participants. Approximately 250 girls & women participated.

 

Below are the descriptions of all the sessions;

Session 1 -   Registration & Detailed Introduction to the workshop

The registration of the participants has done in this session and described the Importance of Menstrual hygiene management for well being of the women.

Session 2 – Biological reason & process of Menstruation

Dr Rekha Gupta (gynaecologist) described the biological reason behind menstruation. However, very few girls & women knew about the scientific reason for Why do girls bleed?

The participants were taught through posters & pictures of female reproductive parts in a detailed manner.

Session 3 - Importance of Menstrual Hygiene Management

Dr Nidhi Gupta (gynaecologist) provided knowledge to the participants on the usage of hygiene practices during menses and why it is essential for healthy body, mind & soul. 

They described the participants to follow hygiene practices to stay fit & healthy. Few crucial points they have discussed. Always use sanitary pads during menstruation to feel comfort & dry, Change pads on the regular interval, Wash hands before & after changing the pads and most important always use bins go through it – never throw on the street and flush the pads.

Session 4 – Relation to Education and Good Health

In this session, our counsellors Ms Pushpa Devi mentioned the relation of girls' education with their good health. She described if the girl is educated then they can take care of her health properly. Many girls skip their schools during menstruation due to inappropriate use of menstrual products; comfort situation and the shortage of girls’ toilets in the schools etc.               The experts highlighted the importance of safe, sanitary practices commencing from washing the genital area with water after each use and also after urination. The sanitary napkins need to be changed regularly after 4 to 5 hours to avoid any leakage, odor and infections.

 

Session 5 - Good health is a matter of wellbeing

Under this session, our counsellors shared few of the case studies with the participants to motivate them to follow healthy WASH practices and emphasised to follow healthy habits for everyone's' wellbeing.  

Session 6 – Description of Hygiene Kit

All participants received Hygiene kit that contains eight sanitary pads, one vaginal wash, 1 Panty, 2 Soaps and Information leaflet. Our team described the kits to the proper usage of the products. They have also demonstrated the proper hand washing steps to follow the proper health. 

Session 7 – Question & Answering Session

In this session, participants were asking there queries on topics as mentioned earlier and an expert panel was given responses.

Below are the few questions the participants were asked during the program –

"Why does my daughter get much pain during menstruation"- Smt. Kamlesh, 35 years.  

"My daughter is 15 years old, but till date, her menstruation has not started, why?"  Asked by          

  Smt. Manju Devi, 37 Years.   

“My periods long last for 8-10 days, what is the reason?” Asked by Soniya, 14 years (Student)

“What is the best way to wash cloth during periods?” Asked by Bhavna, 14 years  

 

Session 8Distribution of Hygiene kits & Eatables

The seminar was ended with the distribution of hygiene kits to the participants followed by refreshments/ eatables. Each participant was collected its hygiene kit at the registration desk. 

 

However, this time more success has been added to the SMILEY DAYS project, few more Smiley Girls & SAKHIS (Change Agents) have been created. Change Agents are the women/ older girls of their community who represents Smiley Days Goals and works as a catalyst for our project.

"I feel proud to associate with Smiley Days Project. I am happy to associate with the projects’ mission and spreading knowledge on Menstruation among many women of my community. Previously, I had also a very little knowledge of menstruation even I thought that it's a curse for women. But now I realised the importance of Menstruation and how it effects on our life. I do not want that my daughters would get little information which I had before. Even I want to become powerful and empower, although they can manage their periods with proud. Thanks, IDF for giving me such opportunity to spread knowledge and also thanks to recognize me as a Change Agent for my community", said Mamta, 34, mother of four (three daughters and one son)   

 

IDF is thankful to all donors for helping girls and women to gain confidence and motivation to live a healthy and happy life.

 

Warm Regards,

Indian Dreams Foundation

Dear Friends,


Wish you all a happy new year from the IDF Team and beneficiaries!

It is our pleasure to share our report on the progress of “Smiley Days Project”. Thank you for all your support, contribution and well wishes throughout the previous year that gave us the strength to move forward towards well being of the adolescent girls and women from underprivileged communities.We expect the same or more support this year also so that we can be able to reach out to the new communities with hope and motivation.

We are at Indian Dreams Foundation rigorously working to provide dignity to every girl and kindle the smiles on every girl’s face by providing them right knowledge & information about the periods.


In our last report, we mentioned that we introduced SMILEY KITS (includes sanitary pads, vaginal wash & panty) and SMILEY CARD that helps to maintain hygiene and stay healthy during the menstrual days. The project team has been busy in distributing kits and issuing Smiley Cards to the girls who are the part of the project. So far approx. 400 kits have distributed, and 250 cards have released to the girls.


We have designed the Smiley Card in such a way to track and monitor the monthly status of the girls during periods. Every girl who is registered under the project gets a Smiley Card that also connects her directly to our Expert Panel (Gynecologists & counsellors) for the consultation. The Smiley Card is monthly monitored by field staff and Smiley Girls Club which is assigned to all the partner schools.


We would like to share some comments of the beneficiaries during workshop & Smiley kit distribution sessions-
We have conducted many sessions in the partner schools where girls have shared their experience with our counsellors and team members that help us to know the real situation of the girls.

Some have much inspired and motivated by the project and transfer the same knowledge to the other girls who live in their neighbourhood.


Richa, 16 years, living in a slum of Agra says “Once I have attended a Smiley Days workshop which organized in my school. That day I realised the importance of toilet for every girl. I realised that this is not just a matter of hygiene but moreover this is the matter of DIGNITY for every girl. My parents did not give importance to the toilet that’s why the toilet was not at our home. My family comprises four females and two males. We used to do open defecation nearby the roadside.

Many times I assaulted by useless people, and I felt awkward to go outside for defecation. When I attended the workshop in my school, I told to my mother to build a toilet at home, but she refused to say that your father was not allowed to having a toilet at home. However, I did not stop to convince them. I started fasting for my dignity. Whole days passed but my father did not give me a positive sign when I refused to do any household work along with continues fasting.

Then finally, I convinced both of my parents to build a toilet. I feel happy to have a toilet at home. Now all the female members of my family are proudly managing their menstruation. I want to thanks, Indian Dreams Foundation for such a great project."
As the New Year has begun, we are excited to reach out to more girls and women through this project with your continuous support.
Again we wish you and your family a happy new year and this year will give you lot of happiness & wealth.
Do contribute to help us for the cause that can change the lives of underprivileged girls and women.

Warm Regards,
Indian Dreams Foundation

Links:

Girls smiles with Smiley Kit
Girls smiles with Smiley Kit

 

It is a pleasure to say thanks to all donors for their generous support and constant motivation. With all the wishes from different stakeholders, this project is scaling its height in the broad masses likes reaching out to new slums and new girls.

 Equipped with different activities and messages, Smiley Days project heading towards the targeted objectives and goals.

Last two months were very hectic and full of new task and challenges as we have introduced health and hygiene kit called Smiley Kit ( Sanitary pads, Vaginal wash, soap, panty) and girls' monthly health monitoring and tracking card called "Smiley card".

Indian Dreams Foundation has conducted an interactive workshop along with the distribution of Smiley Kit and Card in the partner school C.P Public, Agra where 58 girls were present during the workshop and received Smiley kit and card.

During the workshop, girls were actively involved in all the discussion related to their health and hygiene issues; every girl was given a chance to speak up about her experience and query on menstrual health, hygiene and well being so that trainers and counsellors can resolve their questions and possibly provide them solutions.

The trainer also educated girls about using of sanitary pads, cleanliness, hygienic habits during the periods so that girls can become conscious towards their health and understand the changes.

Indian Dreams  Foundation has assigned the role of ambassador to the most active five girls. These girls will represent Smiley Days project in their peer group and will monitor and track the day to day development of the activities, queries of the girls and also changes among all other girls, these girls will be directly in communication with project team members for updating about the status of the project.

IDF is really thankful to all donors for helping girls and women to gain confidence and motivation to live a healthy and happy life.

                                              

Girls with Kit
Girls with Kit

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Indian Dreams Foundation!

I am very glad to share the recent progress report of our project “Smiley Days”, which imparts menstrual health and hygiene awareness to adolescent girls and women who are living in the slums. Your support and well wishes have been changing lives of many girls by making them aware of and sensitizing them towards female health issues.

I mentioned in our previous report that we have reached out to new areas, namely Devri Road, where we have been establishing partnerships with different schools. So far, we have established partnerships with four schools from the new area. 

Recently, IDF has conducted an interactive workshop on Menstrual Health and Hygiene issues in Tagore Bal Niketan Public School, Devri Road, Agra.

It was an interesting and interactive session. Approximately 175 girls from the age group of 11- 15 years and 10 female teachers participated and left informed about Menstrual Hygiene Management, with a special focus on the process of menstruation, use of sanitary napkins for better hygiene and disposal of the sanitary pads in a proper manner to maintain the environment. In the beginning of the program, the girls seemed shy and very hesitant to speak but after half an hour, counselors were able to successfully communicate with them. The girls started to interact with our counselors and showed their interest in topics related to their physical health and development. All girls were actively participated and enjoyed the session. The counselors used some posters during the session for better understanding the concepts of menstruation.

Many girls asked questions during the session, some of which are detailed below:

Nandani, 13 years asked “Why do I feel a lot of pain during menstruation and what should we do to get relief from it?” Our counselor explained to her the reasons behind painful menstruation and suggested some ways she could control it. Nandani said that she was very happy to attend the session not only because she gained knowledge from it but also because it encouraged her to talk more freely about menstruation, something that she was not comfortable with before.

Pranjal, an another girl from VII class, said that before that session she thought that menstruation was a punishment for the girls but now she has realized that she was completely wrong. She asserts that it is an identity of a healthy girl and that she is very happy to be a girl. She added that after attending the session, “I have received brief information about menstruation and hygiene practices. Now I will spread the health & hygiene message to all of my friends and relatives.”

Another girl name Priya, 12 years asked about menopause and why menstruation was necessary for every girl.

These are some of the many questions that were answered during the interactive workshop and Smiley Days will endeavour to address more such queries from girls and women who previously had misconceptions about menstruation and menstrual hygiene.

Thank you for your support and well wishes that helping to make this project success and impactful.

Do contribute to help us for the cause that can change the lives of many underprivileged girls and women.

 

Warm Regards,

Indian Dreams Foundation        

 

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Organization Information

Indian Dreams Foundation

Location: Agra, Uttar Pradesh - India
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Punit Asthana
Agra, Uttar Pradesh India
$16,224 raised of $43,480 goal
 
125 donations
$27,256 to go
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