On March 8, 2016, International Women’s Day, the kick-off of the second phase of the ‘Making periods normal’ program took place in Bhagalpur district, Bihar. All Indian alliance partners, BVHA, SEWA, Dharma Life, Restless Development and Pratham were present, plus the Dutch program partners Simavi, Rutgers and Women on Wings. Many distinguished speakers from Government, NGO’s, doctors and well-wishers emphasized the need for awareness raising and accessibility of sanitary pads.
With the learnings of the first phase in Munger district, all involved are convinced that Bhagalpur will be a successful follow up. Also because of the improved team work and collaboration between all partners. This was very much visible during the field visits after the kick off meeting. After the field trip, representatives of all alliance partners, gathered for a mid-term review in Patna, hosted by BVHA.
The team worked on a full agenda and started with a recap on the collaboration session in October 2015, hosted by Women on Wings experts José van Aken and Carolijn Michels. This session has proven its value as collaboration has significantly improved and the shared goal is clear. To underline this positive milestone, all partners signed a social contract based on the program goal and values as decided in October.
Next to this festive part, a debate took place about the difference between the social entrepreneurial model by Dharma Life and the NGO model of the other partners and the necessity for both in this program. Critical questions from all partners were discussed in a harmonious way, proofing the value ‘trust’ is more than just a word on paper. It helped in gaining more mutual understanding to the way of working.