#MHDay2022 - Highlights from BRIDGE participants who joined the campaign
On 28th May individuals, organisations and entire communities came together to celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) - a global campaign to raise awareness of the importance of menstrual health and hygiene for women, girls, and all people who menstruate around the world - which was initiated by our partner WASH United.
Starting with the persistent societal taboos around menstruation, women and girls face various menstruation-related challenges keeping them from realizing their full potential in health and education to income-earning opportunities. 500 million women and girls around the world cannot access what they need to manage their periods safely, hygienically and without shame. The MH Day movement raises awareness around such issues and normalizes and opens up conversations around menstruation, including challenges of period poverty, and the need for period-friendly infrastructure and education. It is also a day to mobilise media attention and increase political advocacy towards national governments and donors.
The MH Day partnership is over 870 organisations strong, and 43 of those partners were selected for the Lightful BRIDGE programme who we’ve been supporting to increase their digital campaign planning skills as part of our partnership with The Case for Her and WASH United.
In the lead up to the big day on 28th May (#MHDay2022), participants planned their content across digital platforms including social media, email and websites, all with the aim of amplifying the MH Day message: to make menstruation a normal fact of life by 2030.
Here are some social media highlights from BRIDGE participants’ campaigns.
The Intelligent Indian is a feminist human rights organisation fostering action-oritented programmes in sexuality, education, public health and climate justice. For MH Day they organised a poster making activity for young girls in their local community, enabling young people to help spread period-friendly messaging. They showcased the event on their social media channels, along with messaging around the importance of menstrual hygiene-friendly spaces for young people.
The Girls Health Ed curriculum promotes the development of confident girls through education on health and wellbeing, nutrition, body image, puberty and personal care, healthy relationships, menstruation and reproductive health. For MH Day they teamed up with Pandemic Periods for a virtual discussion on menstrual health in times of crisis.
“We call on multilateral organizations and governments to recommend stronger provisions to address menstrual health needs in emergency programming and wider public health programming.” - Pavita Singh, Girls Health Ed
HER Pakistan is a youth and women-led nonprofit that empowers individuals about menstruation through education, services and advocacy. They added their voice to the MH Day campaign on social media, sharing the hashtag and #WeAreCommitted theme - “We are committed to creating a period-friendly Pakistan”.
A closer look at some of the campaigns
Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the participants' MH Day campaigns…
The Town Crier Initiative is dedicated to using sports to help educate young girls and boys to normalise periods and inspire stigma-free conversations about menstruation.
Their MHDay campaign, called Project 5000 Girls, aimed to distribute menstrual hygiene kits to young girls, as well as engage girls and young boys in breaking the silence, bias, and stigma surrounding menstruation. With a clear target set, they achieved their campaign goals which were pretty impressive:
- Provided 1,000 school girls with menstruation kits
- Taught 300 girls and boys how to make reusable sanitary pads
- Through sports and media, they reached 10,000 young people with MH Day messaging (their original goal was 5,000!)
“BRIDGE teachings and regular 1:1 meetings made it so easy and simple for me as the team were able to provide us with online content that we used for fundraising. We were able to recruit Media Ambassadors and Champions who helped in designing of E-Flyers, editing of Videos and also helping to post on various social media channels'' - Ogene Ogbodod, Executive Director at Town Crier Initiative
This youth-led organisation seeks to promote health and wellbeing among young people living in the rural area of Kyotera in Uganda.
“Our dream is to create a generation of young people who are not limited by any circumstance, including menstruation, in the pursuit of their dreams for a holistic future” - Henry Junior Kakooza, Dreams of the Tropical Youth Uganda.
For MH Day their campaign aimed to raise funds to build a female latrine at Kingere Primary School in the Kyotera district. By dedicating more resources to sanitation efforts, they are hoping to increase the health and wellbeing of schoolgirls. They also increased their activity on social media which led to a 7% follower growth across Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn - reaching more people with their important messaging.
The Young Jewels Foundation supports children to stay in school across Kenya by providing menstrual products, as well as sexual and reproductive health education and mentorship for young boys and girls.
For their #MHDay2022 campaign, they launched a children’s storybook, which aims to open discussions around culturally taboo topics such as sexual health and menstruation. On 28th May the book was distributed to over 100 students at Makengekani Primary School in Kenya. The Foundation will now focus their efforts on fundraising to ensure they can continue to distribute the Zara storybook throughout the year. This is great timing as the second half of the BRIDGE programme will focus on helping participants elevate their online giving strategies.
“The book tracks the female journey from menstruation through to menopause. It is our new approach and commitment to passing on menstrual hygiene education to young girls and boys. It’s a really exciting product for us to use as we contribute to the wider menstrual health agenda” - Dinah Muthuka, Founder.
Investing in Girls’ Education in Africa (IGEA) is a nonprofit on a mission to deliver quality education to girls in rural Africa. Their Menstruate and Educate project distributes sustainable menstrual products - reusable pads - to young girls in Ghana.
As part of their MH Day campaign IGEA collaborated with a UK-based brand to launch a campaign t-shirt. 50% of profits from the t-shirt campaign were donated to IGEA to fund period products for young girls. The t-shirt campaign was a huge success and sold out well before the end of the campaign period, as well as exceeding the fundraising target!
Through 1:1 support, the BRIDGE team helped them map out a digital marketing plan to promote the campaign across their digital channels, and within their existing support network.
IGEA also held an in-person event on MHDay! Speakers from their country staff addressed a local community in Durbar, Ghana, on the importance of girls’ education. The on-the-ground team was also featured on a local radio station to discuss the topic!
It has been so exciting to see the different ways participating organisations participated in driving this movement forward on MH Day. They will now enter the second phase of the BRIDGE programme, which will focus on digital fundraising tactics.
Over the coming months, participants will learn to develop a fundraising strategy, identify online giving tools best suited to their organisation, and create a supporter stewardship plan so they can convert social media followers into long-term supporters!
Keep an eye on our blog where we’ll share more insights over the next months.
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