One Bridge To Idomeni
The two main challenges for adequate menstrual hygiene management are the access to reproductive health education and the availability of safe, clean and affordable menstrual supplies. This project aims to take action against period poverty by 1) advocating for equal accessibility to menstrual products through awareness campaigns; 2) educating women across social contexts through menstrual awareness activities; and 3) empowering women through the production and use of sustainable sanitary pads.
Verona, Northern Italy, and Corinth, South-Center of Greece
Many women and men around the world do not have access to adequate reproductive health education and menstruators keep facing period stigma as a consequence of religious and social taboos and myths. Because of their period, menstruators are discriminated, ostracized and humiliated. Availability of health education resources has been extremely effective in the fight against period stigma. Our aim is to extend this education programme to migrants that live in Verona and the refugee camp in Corinth, who mainly come from socio-cultural contexts that stigmatize menstruation. We also aim to promote the crafting of reusable pads that are cheaper, longer-lasting, safe and do not pollute the environment.
The identified target group includes migrant women and menstruators aged between 14-40 y. located in Verona and the refugee camp of Cortinth, who come from the Middle East, South Asia, North Africa and sub-saharan Africa. They usually have only precarious knowledge of menstrual and reproductive health, due to the cultural and social norms of their country of origin and this often leads to a lack of dialogue with family members, healthcare providers and among menstruators themselves. The hardship encountered during migration and displacement exacerbates the difficulties with menstrual management. Migrant women and menstruators are often confined in camps or facilities that lack adequate infrastructure where they could feel safe and could change their menstrual management material in privacy
The project aims to educate women and menstruators on the topic of menstrual hygiene and management. First, we will organize and kickstart the project in Verona with the support of our partners. The experience with migrant beneficiaries in Verona will be fundamental to design the workshops in Corinth. At the same time, we will organize multiple meetings with the inhabitants of the refugee camp in Corinth that are already involved in the activities of our community centers. We will collect their suggestions that we will include in our programme. This in-depth study will be followed by the launch of the programme in Corinth.
Both in Verona and in Corinth, we will organize:
-7 meetings: 3 for advocacy, 3 for education and 1 for sustainability;
-2 workshops that will lead to the production of 2 big, 2 medium and 2 small reusable sanitary pads.
Furthermore, we will develop:
-a website where we will discuss our proposed activities;
-information and advertising campaigns to share the developments of the program;
-a monitoring system to follow the evolution of the project and to collect suggestions and advices from the beneficiaries.
After the implementation of the program, we will organize several meetings addressed to the citizens of the involved cities, with the aim of showcasing our project and creating a network between the beneficiaries and the people living near them.
Our program aims to educate and promote dialogue on the topic of menstrual health among migrant women and menstruators. Through our program, we will offer a safe space where human dignity is prioritized and where migrant women and menstruators will be encouraged to consider menstruation as a necessary biological function as opposed to an unspoken taboo. Furthermore, we will discuss issues related to the sustainability of sanitary products and we will offer tools to craft safe, reusable and sustainable menstrual management material. Our program will empower women and menstruators to take charge of their own menstrual health. Finally, as a result of our information campaigns, the broader community will gain awareness for the necessity of equal accessibility to menstrual products.
Reproductive health issues affect the whole society and can undermine educational opportunities, health and overall social status of women, girls and menstruators around the world. Our project aims to raise awareness about menstrual issues among migrant women and menstruators as well as among the inhabitants of Verona and Corinth. They will be actively involved in the decision-making process, as we will collect feedback and implement them throughout the duration of the program. Furthermore, by advocating for period equity and sustainability, we hope that we will encourage italian and greek citizens and institutions to recognise the need for a broader and longer-term plan on menstrual issues, especially as part of inclusion programs for migrant women and menstruators.
Our main team consists of 4 experienced people with diverse backgrounds:
-a project developer with a background in emergency management and field experience with migrants and refugees in the the Balkan Route;
-an expert in migration studies and women’s rights activist, with field experience both in gender equality and migration-related projects;
-an obstetrician with a strong training in psychophysical health related to the ovarian cycle and experience in developing educational programs for women of all ages;
-a researcher whose expertise in psychology and data science who is actively engaged in promoting equity for women.
These experts are members of OBTI which holds a long-lasting experience with the communities and regions where our program will take place.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Budget for the realization of project groups in Verona and in Corinth.
1) health specialists (gynaecologists, obstetricians, psychologists) + advocacy and sustainability specialists + cultural mediators = 13.000
2) coordination and organisation (logistical, financial, bureaucratic and partner management) = 5000
3) workshops = 7000
4) meeting activities and space management= 6000
5) travel and accommodation= 3000
6) information and advertising campaign + website= 2500
We are open to any suggestions and constructive criticism. We are curious about similar projects, suggestions on how to implement and improve the structure of our project, the involvement of people and methods of sustainability of the project in the future.