period workshop for mothers


We run a period workshop in Kayamandi prepare mothers to have a conversation with their daughters on menstruation and female sexuality. In a creative and playful way they learn everything on the menstrual cycle and they get tools that make them able to really start the conversation. The mothers also share their own experiences. We look into the physical, mental and emotional aspects of the period and female sexuality. In this way the mothers gain the self-confidence and will be empowered to have a chat on this intimate topic and to celebrate womanhood together!
  
  
 
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the workshop

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:
 

1. Introduction
The mothers get to know each other and the topic. They learn to speak important words out loud such as vagina, breasts and menstruation. We also share the joys of being a woman.
 

2. Sharing
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.

3. Learning
How does our reproductive system look like? And how does it work? And in which period of the cycle are you fertile? In a creative way we learn all about the cycle, and also how to be sexual active in a safe way.
 

4. Communication
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.


Gloria Feleza
 
was born in the Eastern Cape and lives since 1992 in Kayamandi. She is a mom of two daughters of 9 and 15 years old. She started working at Love To Give in 2006 and she really enjoys giving the workshop and to share her joy of being a woman. The joy for her is the taking care part, not only of herself and her children, but of anyone!
Nomajama Jileka
 
was born in Cape Town and now lives in Khayelitsha. She is a mom of three, two girls (13 and 17) and a boy (7). She also started working for Love To Give in 2006. And her enthusiasm when she starts talking about female sexuality is contagious. Her joy of being a woman lies mostly in (self)love and connecting with others from this love.


Bonding

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“.

(Bronvyk van Wyck, 2015)

Why menstruation?

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.