We don’t talk much about the behind the scenes giving programmes we do at Hello Cup so we thought we should tell you about one we’ve have started recently in Kenya.
Earlier this year we were introduced to Tamarra Mencey from Women’s Global Connection. She told us she was part of a group heading to Kakamega and, together with the charity Women in Water and Natural Conservation (WWANC), they wanted to hold menstrual hygiene workshops during their visit to Africa in July.
Mary, our co-founder and registered nurse, talked to Tamarra and immediately knew the work they were doing was a great fit for Hello Cup and our values and we were thrilled to be able to form a partnership with Women’s Global Connection to support the work. The partnership officially kicked off last month when 200 Hello Cups winged their way to Kenya.
The cups were used by Tamarra and her team, along with WWANC, as part of their “Train the Trainer” workshops. The participants learnt how to use and clean Hello Cups. Over the next few months the trainers will go on to educate women and girls in their local villages, distributing Hello Cups to those who want to try them.
Tamarra said, while the idea of menstrual cups can be strange, as soon as the benefits are explained, the workshop participants were fully engaged.
“I was so excited to present information about the product to the women and encourage them to spread the word to the women in their lives. The cups aren’t an easy sell at first but once people get passed the shock phase, they tend to really like the idea. Such was the case for this group! It’s always entertaining to see people’s reactions when you demonstrate the process. Not unlike myself, I think people love how eco-friendly and sustainable the concept is. It was amazing to see the women develop an interest in the cups and become excited about sharing the information with their daughters, sisters, and mothers.”
The trainers were also given a powerful recap on why women get menstrual cycles and how they are not shameful. As well as educating about the benefits of using menstrual cups, the workshops also focused on how to make reusable pads and how to compost the pad materials when the time comes.
The WWANC team will be partnering with local schools to conduct training and hygiene education and distribute Hello Cups cups to young girls and women who currently have limited access to safe menstrual health solutions and education.
“This is a revolutionary step in the empowerment of young women,” says Tamara.
We are so grateful to be partnering with Tamarra and the Women’s Global Connection. We understand there’s a huge need for free period products around the world for those living in challenging conditions. We are often asked if we would consider doing a ‘one for one’ programme. It’s something we are looking at – but we will only do it with the right partners. A essential part of encouraging people to consider switching to a menstrual cup is education. Without a solid education behind it, one for one programmes can be meaningless and the donated product is very likely to end up in landfill. We are also firm believers in choice. We will never say someone with their period needs to use a menstrual cup because it saves money. They are not for everyone and providing education allows potential users to make an informed choice.
Watch this space for more on upcoming charitable education projects Hello Cup will be doing.