In Spring 2022, we had to write a proposal for an action plan as part of our Exit Point for the unit Responsibility. This was a challenging task because we wanted to come up with a really good plan that nobody else had thought of. We wanted our presentation to be impactful and educational. After a lot of planning and discussion we decided to focus on feminine hygiene because we found this topic not to be spoken about enough. We wanted people in our school to talk about the topic more freely and comfortably, which can be complicated when a school is international.
Our proposed plan took a lot of discussion and research. We wanted our slides to include informative and reliable research. When we gave the presentation the first time, to just our classmates, we received some uncomfortable reactions that included laughing. However, the second time we presented, we received much more positive and respectful feedback. This is what we wanted to achieve, and we did it!
Our experience when presenting to the entire middle school was overall positive. However we all felt nervous and apprehensive of the possible negative judgements and comments, but were pleasantly surprised with the positive reactions from students. We also found that presenting makes us feel more confident in our communication skills, that it enables us to be our own agents in making decisions, and understanding the benefits of those decisions.
As part of our project, we also created an informational video, which was shown in each mentor class. The purpose was to educate our fellow students and spread awareness about women's hygiene and menstruation. The process had two steps: first, the students were given a questionnaire, asking questions which were later explained in the video; then, we interviewed two nurses in order to get reliable responses. The video shows the importance of learning about menstruation and also shows appreciation for the subject.
Our final project was creating a period product box and a bag. These consisted of pads, tampons and sanitary napkins. In other words, they included everything a girl would need if she got her period unexpectedly. This will be very beneficial for most girls because then they don't have to go around and ask other students or teachers for menstruation products when they are in need of them. We placed the box and bag in easily accessible places around the school.
In conclusion, taking action like we did in our feminine hygiene project, which included presenting it in an assembly, makes students feel empowered in their communication skills and boosts one's confidence, especially when presenting to a big crowd. We felt empowered by what we had accomplished, and that allowed us to present assertively and this presented us with new opportunities to grow the menstruation project.