Being an SMC mentor has been the most rewarding and mind-opening experience of my life.Pooja, An SMC Mentor
Pooja is a student studying in Christ University, Bangalore. She has been working as a Sustainable Menstrual Care (SMC) Mentor for the past two years. She was 19 when she attended the My Period, My Pride (MPMP) programme conducted by VentureVillage Learning Solutions in her college. Back then, she knew very little about menstruation. The My Period, My Pride course helped her get rid of all the negative emotions surrounding this natural phenomenon through education.
After grasping the information from the MPMP course, she decided to do the SMC Mentor Training course in order to gain an in-depth understanding of sustainable menstruation. Having faced a lot of menstruation related stigmas while growing up, she was very familiar with the problems faced by young menstruators. Therefore, she committed to working to address menstruation related issues in her hometown in Odisha. She soon became an SMC mentor and started organising sessions in her village with great passion and commitment. She keeps visiting colleges, schools and different wards in her hometown and conducts sessions and workshops on sustainable menstruation, menstrual hygiene, menstrual awareness etc.
“Being an SMC mentor has been the most rewarding and mind-opening experience of my life. It gives me the push and confidence to generate a positive impact in society. It also helps me generate a level of satisfaction that I cannot explain. I want to create a positive menstrual culture in my hometown. I also want to make young adolescent girls aware of sustainable menstruation and also empower them in the process. I am always grateful to VentureVillage for giving me this opportunity where I can educate and empower young menstruators” says Pooja.
Sustainable Menstrual Care Initiative aims to motivate more Poojas to make a positive impact in the society. Through this program, Education For Good Foundation will recruit and train learners of the My Period, My Pride course and will empower them to pass on menstrual awareness to local institutions including schools and community in general.
SMC Initiative’s vision is to train young and dynamic college students as SMC Mentors who will act as agents of change in remedying the lack of menstrual awareness and scientific knowledge in their communities. Students like Pooja can play a big role in becoming trusted mentors and advisors to those menstruators who are interested and willing to switch to sustainable menstrual hygiene products. It provides them an opportunity to act as a sister and provide guidance and awareness to menstruators of various age groups and backgrounds. It is also extremely rewarding as this work can provide them with a passive income while being a student. The experiences, understandings and practices gained through the SMC program will help mentors spread awareness about the need to switch to sustainable products and the harmful effects caused by single use products.
The SMC Initiative is an effort towards addressing SDG 3, SDG 5 and SDG 11 (Good Health and Well-being, Gender Equality and Sustainable Cities and Communities respectively). We envision our mentors to be responsible citizens and community leaders of the future who are vocal about menstrual awareness, gender equality and sustainability.
As Nelson Mandela has rightly said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’. Therefore, through programmes like MPMP and SMC, Education For Good Foundation is striving to push for awareness and adoption of sustainable products to start building a sustainable menstrual ecosystem in India.
How can you be a Sustainable Menstrual Care Mentor?
- STEP 1: Enrol and complete the “My Period, My Pride” course
- STEP 2: Sign up to become Sustainable Menstrual Care (SMC) Mentor
- STEP 3: Participate in our SMC Mentor Training
- STEP 4: Attend training sessions from experts in the field of menstruation
- STEP 5: Final presentation in front of the SMC Program Manager
- STEP 6: Become a certified Sustainable Menstrual Care Mentor.
Through this process, you will become part of a pool of on-demand mentors for your community.
Keywords- Menstrual awareness, Sustainable Menstruation, Sustainable Menstrual Care Initiative, mentor, Period, sustainability