Through a Training of Trainer (TOT) program on Menstrual Hygiene Education, BSN brought school teachers and community facilitators together in Ramechhap Municipality. This program opened up an important step towards implementing Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in their communities and schools. The participants brought their energy, experiences, dynamism, openness, and commitment throughout the training which was a delight to trainers from Days for Girls, Nepal and BSN.
Participants at the beginning of training, expressed their mixed expectations of hope and fears to contextualize the discussion of MHM. Participants pointed out that, Menstruation is associated with taboo, secrecy, and shame in Nepalese society. Talking about menstruation publicly is forbidden and discouraged. Majority of participants were women but there were also some men who also shared their bitter experiences, confusion, and ignorance to understanding menstruation. They never experience their mother, sisters, wife and female classmates sharing their pains and problems of menstruation openly which limits them to support or help them during their menstruation cycle.
Participants acknowledge MHM training as an ice-breaking opportunity to learn, listen, share and latter educate their own family members, girls, women, and community on MHM. Participants also realized discussions in their own home can be a starting point for breaking social, institutional, and physical barriers to address the needs and importance of menstrual hygiene.
MHM is all about finding simple local, safe and environmentally friendly solutions and changing mindset. This helps participants; community facilitators and teachers to re-define menstruation, establishing as dignity and pride.
The Facilitators from DFGN were highly appreciated by all the participants for their facilitation skills. The participants were provided with a set of Reusable Sanitary Napkin Kit, AWH flip chart and visual clips that will be helpful for them to discuss on MHM in their schools and community.
The training program was a journey for the participants towards changing their misconceptions on Menstrual Hygiene and was very successful. This change was captured below as their perceptions and ideas changed over the course of the training.
|Preliminary Ideas||Change in perception after the training course|
|Only 76% of participants answered ovaries as a female reproductive system that stores and release an egg in each menstrual cycle.||During post assessment, all participants answered ovaries as a female reproductive system that stores and release an egg in each menstrual cycle.|
|Only 68% of participants answered testicles as male reproductive organs that produce sperms.||In the end, all participants answered correctly.|
|None of the participants knows eggs are released during ovulation.||All the participants know the right answer at the end of the training.|
|In pre-assessment, only 53% percent of participants answered female reproductive organ after the toilet must be cleaned front to back which is true.||All participant’s response correctly in post assessment.|
|MHM should be targeted at women and girls.||MHM is important for everyone, including men and boys. It is about breaking the silence in society at large.|
|MHM is mostly about the distribution of pads.||There is so much more to MHM. To make real progress and address structural issues that affect women and girls, we need to focus on breaking the silence, safe management, and safe re-use or disposal.|
All the participants adorned BSN team for initiating Menstrual Hygiene Education in Ramechhap, they show their commitment to breaking the silence around menstruation and found confident to apply training learning on their respective work.
BSN would like to kindly acknowledge and thank to Foundation for Social and Ecological Future, German for their funding support, Days for Girls Team for their technical support on training facilitation and all the participants, schools principle for their active and valuable participation, generous support to successfully accomplish the training.
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