Half of the world’s population menstruate for most of their lives. Yet no major changes have taken place in more than 50 years.
Consider the amount of waste created each month by disposable products. Think of the chemicals they can contain that we put into our bodies. In addition, there are many
girls who stay out of school because they are ashamed of their periods, and in addition, many girls in the world have difficulties buying menstrual products every month because they cost half of their monthly income.
How wonderful it will be to go on a journey to change the way we menstruate and the impact a period has on our lives, our body and our environment.
No one should be stopped by their body. Menstrual products should not contain harmful chemicals and absorb natural body secretions resulting in infections. Menstruation should not be a reason for the great pollution. And it should never, ever be a source of shame.
Every change, every first time, can be difficult, even when using the Menstrual Cup. Do you remember inserting a tampon for the first time?
It may take a few days or a few periods to master using a Cup. Together we can make a change.
The menstrual cup
A menstrual cup is made of a surgical silicone, which is specially made for use in your body and is very flexible.
They come in different sizes;
- S for woman who has not yet given birth
- L for woman who has had a vaginal birth
- And for a little while now they have XS that is for the girls to start with
You use the cup by folding it in a specific way to insert it into your body where it will unfold.
You can leave the cup in for up to 12 hours, also at night. Depending on menstruation. The can collect the moisture from up to 3 large tampons.
To remove the cup, first wash your hands and pull the stem down and gently move it left and right. Empty the cup into the toilet and rinse with cold water. If you do not have access to water, you can use a wet cloth or, if necessary, toilet paper to clean it. Then clean the cup with water when it is available again. Once empty and clean, you can reinsert the cup. After your period, clean the cup and pour boiling water over the cup. Leave it in the water for 5 minutes to sterilize it, after which you can store the cup for the next period.
One cup lasts for at least 10 years
I was very shocked to learn how difficult it was for them to get through their period each month. Since the cost of sanitary towels is half of their monthly income, they often do not have the option to buy it. My question was, “How do you get through your monthly period if you don’t have anything”? The answers really make me think.
They give me some answers;
- We use garments
- We fill a sock with sand because it absorbs
- Parts of a mattress
- Wearing many clothes
Most shockingly, they told me that many girls don’t go to school during their periods and miss school a lot every month. During the conversation I had my own period and I used the cup myself for many years. At that moment the idea arose to help the girls with a menstrual cup.
For now we have trained a team of trainers in Mathare who teach the girls everything about the menstrual cup, how to use it, about hygiene and answer any further questions that girls have. The trainers are also available as a source of information if there are any questions afterwards.
We have already distributed the cups in Mathare in Slin Library Babadogo and at Shadrack Juma Library Twice in Kiambu – Kirigiti Twice at Mysa Komarock
September 2019 I got the painful message that a 14 year old schoolgirl committed suicide after a teacher embarrassed her for all the children in the classroom. It was her first period.This happened at a school in Bomet County.
To reach more and more girls in Kenya, we are working on a documentary about the difficulties of girls and having their periods and also the great pollution. The
documentary will be finished at the end of January this year. Hoping that we can get more and more support to help the girls in Kenya
Main goal is that girls can live a normal life during their period and if they have a cup they are safe throughout school because you can use the cup for 10 years.
Together we can make a change