At the moment we collaborate with the NGO Love To Give in the South African township Kayamandi. Every year 200 unemployed women enroll their program in which they are given several workshops and training’s to help them find ways to generate income. All these women participate in the Period Workshop of She Blooms. Therefor She Blooms trained two employees of Love To Give to become a trainer. We believe that the workshop will have the most benefit when given by local women (scroll down to meet Gloria and Nomajama, our trainers). The workshop consist of four session, and in a nutshell, this is what we do:
Using own experiences is the best way to talk to daughters. The mothers share their own experiences of their first menstruation, on how they communicate with their daughters at the moment, and also how they currently experience the menstruation and female sexuality.
The period soap is the ‘cherry on top of the cake’ and the tool to really get the conversation going. The mothers are given a soap and tips on how to use the soap as an icebreaker.
A study of Eileen Gillooly points out that if a mother starts in time with a open and intimate conversation with her daughter on menstruation, her changing body and romantic relations, that this has a stimulating effect on their relation. It also forms a base for a healthy self-image and body awareness, and it lessens fear about and for menstruation.
“Parents should break the silence about girls’ (and boys’) sexual desire. Sex education shouldn’t be a once-o event about technical matters & dangers. It has to be an open discussion about the physical and experiential aspects
of menstruation as well as sex and sexuality in the context of relationships. Such conversations with adolescent girls are imperative so that they can start developing “an assertive sexual voice, that is the ability to negotiate safely and equitable sexuality” in their future inmate relationships“.
We use menstruation as a tool to start the conversation on sexuality because of three reasons:
1. Every women menstruates;
2. You are fertile from the moment you start menstruating;
3. Menstruation is a easier topic to talk about.