Meeting with the Taula cup ambassadors
In March 2021 the "Educate Girls in Zambia on Gender Equity" project was launched successfully with a workshop on Sexual Reproductive Health reproduction. The workshop included presentations on sexuality, sexually transmitted infections, contraceptive methods as well as mental well-being, gender equity, gender based violence and menstrual hygiene. The workshop was well received by 25 girls and their mothers. As part of the workshop we introduced the ‘taula menstrual cup’ to the girls and solicitated the participation of 10 girls as our menstrual cup ambassadors. The project with the cup ambassadors has generated a lot of positive feedback. Reports from several formal and informal meetings with the group of cup ambassadors, has showed that 8 out of the selected 10 girls are regularly using the cup and are satisfied with the freedom and flexibility it afforded them. Chance4all is following up with the feedback of the outstanding 2 ambassadors.
The majority of cup ambassadors have expressed the wish to receive more guidelines about the proper use of the cup, which Chance4all will integrate in upcoming sessions. The ambassadors have done an excellent job in spreading the benefits of a menstrual cup with their peers, leading to an increased number of requests directed to Chance4all staff to run another workshop and include more cup ambassadors into the project. We have received positive and enquiring requests from some parents showing interest to be invited to the next workshop, as they have heard about the project from their children. The concept has therefore potentially initiated some discussions at home and raised awareness for the topic of sexual reproductive health, which is a long-term goal of the project.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 cases in Zambia had increased to an alarming level at the beginning of June 2021, resulting in the closure of schools from June 17th to August 23rd. Consequently, Chance4all had to put the sensitization project on hold and was not able to conduct a second workshop as initially planned. During these difficult times, Chance4all however stayed committed to continue to support gender equity by providing distance learning services not only to the female students but also to the community. Apart from regularly checking-in on the well-being of all students and their families, Chance4all students received homework packages in 5 subjects which provided them access for self-learning .
With the re-opening of school at the end of August mentoring meetings with the girls have re-started, and a second workshop is planned for November, where girls from other schools within the Bauleni community should participate. The insights from our reporting with the Cup Ambassadors as well as the feedback from the first workshop in April have provided us with a good baseline for this upcoming workshop.