In June, we launched the “Not Just A Piece of Clothing” initiative in partnership with Goonj. After spreading awareness about menstrual hygiene and women’s health to over 600 women in India, we were looking forward to head back to the villages to interview healthcare workers and rural women for their feedback.
We wanted to personally hear from them about how their lives had improved, now that the women are armed with knowledge of menstrual hygiene and modern health practices. By and large, we’ve received positive response.
Here’s an excerpt on our catch-up with Santosh, a 32 year-old woman living in Badgaon (Udaipur District, Rajasthan) who is part of our team to educate rural women and spread awareness on women’s health.
“I Want to Take this Campaign to Every Woman Here”
Santosh applauds the initiative saying, “I feel very happy to know that something good is happening in the villages and at the same time knowledge is being spread.” It is particularly inspiring to see that women have not only started using sanitary pads, but also sharing their knowledge within their community to benefit more women and girls.
Didi, a 22 year-old participant of the “Not Just A Piece of Clothing” workshop, who shared with us how her life has changed after learning about menstrual hygiene, a traditionally taboo topic in local culture.
“I came to know that we should not use the same piece of cloth for multiple times. I was using the same piece of cloth for three years! I could have contracted some disease from that. I gained knowledge because you gave us the information.”
These positive reports from the villagers are great encouragement and strong source of motivation to our work.
“This is the Age of Mobile!”
Video games are powerful storytelling medium. Video games are goal-driven and challenge players to solve problems to succeed. When stories of social challenges are put into games, it empowers the players to view social issues from an optimistic, solutions-oriented perspective. This creates a strong connection between the player and the story, and can help people to realize their potential to tackle problems, even if they are rarely discussed in public.
When asked for her thoughts on the use of a mobile game to educate menstrual hygiene, Radha, 22 year-old, said it would be a good learning tool. Since it is difficult to openly talk about the subject, she said a mobile game will help her daughters get the information they need. One of the healthcare leaders added, “I love being a healthcare worker and have learnt a lot from the campaign, and look forward to the launch of the mobile game.”
2013 Project Inspire Grand Finals
A year after winning the competition, Rustam Sengupta from Boond was invited to be on the judging panel for the 2013 Project Inspire Grand Finals. He cheered on this year’s ten finalists as they all presented their impactful and inspiring projects. Particularly, he was happy to see participants from Africa and Afghanistan presenting their program to uplift and empower women in their community. While in Singapore, Rustam took the opportunity to give a preview of the first version of the Maya’s 7 Day Challenge website to the Project Inspire team, made up of UN Women Singapore committee and MasterCard. We continue to thank them for their support as they made this year of change possible!