On a quest to ‘Making periods normal’

It’s not everyday we are welcomed by a song and with flowers. This is what happened when we visited NEED in Danapur. Ronald and I were on a trip to identify our partners for our new program in Bihar and NEED is one of these potential partners.

Girls and their dreams
The meeting with NEED was special, as we not just discuss the business opportunities. We started with the girls and their dreams. These are ambitious girls, aiming to become a doctor, schoolteacher, pilot or lawyer. NEED helps these girls getting the right education. How great is that, empowering girls to make it to key positions in society.

Creating plans together
With Jeevika we were impressed by their professional, well managed organization. Jeevika has the network and skills needed to pull off the job of production, sales & distribution. Vikas warned us Dutch to take time. Also he emphasized on creating the plans together with the people in the field (hear hear). Jeevika has the right resources to coach this program. It already felt like a team!

An apron as illustration
SEWA took us on a fieldtrip to some of their cooperatives and incense stick factories. SEWA is building cooperatives for savings and loans. At one of the group meetings we were introduced to SEWA’s awareness program on sanitary health and hygiene. By using an apron the complete cycle of menstruation was illustrated.

Remarks of the women made clear that the importance of taking good care of your menstrual hygiene has not kicked in yet. Money is spent on phones and beauty products, not on menstrual products. This again proves the need for our program. Creating jobs and improving menstrual health go hand in hand.