Module 7 Assignment #1: “My Proposal” End Menstrual Taboos

Marie-Claire Kuja
Posted April 13, 2016 from United States

Hooray! It’s been eight weeks since I was privileged to be among change makers from 21 countries from around the world. Training has been intense and my purpose has been re-defined in the finest way. And yes I can be proud to set out boldly on my journey as a menstrual hygiene campaigner. Coupled with the first class training I have received here on World Pulse plus so much love and wisdom from my mentor, I have also received training from Days for Girls International and had a certificate as an Ambassador for women’s Health. Now is the time to turn all the knowledge into action by taking what the training has impacted on me to my offline community of sisters. Digital Action Campaign, a signature training by World Pulse has been a very empowering tool that will enable me to walk that path.

1) What is the main goal of your Digital Action Campaign (DAC)?

Deciphering taboos and cultural beliefs that has been held by generations for centuries can be a very difficult task. There are so many barriers and resistance on the way to deal with. However, my campaign is to create a platform which will decipher, educate,changemindsetsand break the taboos, myths and stigmas attached to menstruation. Menstruation is a normal biological process yet is not spoken about openly even to this day in Cameroon due to societal pressures and beliefs. Reaching women and girls inrural areas in the North West Region of Cameroon is the objective of my campaign. Apart from the year-long efforts, the campaign will be pursued actively from September 1st tothe 1st of October 2016.

My Community-Led Digital Campaign has the following goals:

To create awareness about menstruation

To break menstrual stigmas,myths and taboos

To break the silence,

To ignite conversation,

To encourage women and girls to embrace menstruation pride and regain dignity.

To draw the attention of the government of my country so that menstrual hygiene management should be a public issue and added in the school curriculum.

2) Who is the audience for your DAC?

A successful campaign cannot be carried out without a target audience, so in this light I will be targeting the following group of people:

-Students (school girls of menstruating ages from 12-18)

-Government officials

-Women groups

-Parents

-Health practitioners

-Community leader

3) What are some actions would you want your audience to take?

To be sure that my campaign successfully impacted change on its target audience,what I will do first of all is to encourage my target audience to join me in the campaign to End Menstrual Taboos.

School girls-will be encouraged to talk about menstruation freely and to share their stories openly in order to inspire and empower others to do the same .In this way more and more awareness will be created and a bright road will lead towards ending taboos and myths to give women and girls the esteem they deserve.

Parents- They need to start the conversation with children at home as children need to know about their bodies and changes.

Teachers of school- Teachers will be encouraged to include menstrual hygiene in class work

Women groups (mostly made up of mother) should talk about menstruation in their groups and encourage discussion at the home level.

Government officials -should include menstruation in the school curriculum and create policies that will ignite conversation on menstruation an better laws on the subject.

Comments 10

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Tamarack Verrall
Apr 14, 2016
Apr 14, 2016

Dear Kuja,

With everything that is involved in your work to bring information and encourage discussion among women on menstruation, one sentence in your description jumps out: "Deciphering taboos and cultural beliefs that has been held by generations for centuries can be a very difficult task". The enormity of the job you are undertaking is very real. This is the grassroots groundwork that truly creates change in the women and girls who will have the fortune to meet you, and in the communities and the world at large as you create an unstoppable ripple effect by empowering everyone in your path.

In sisterhood,

Tam

Marie-Claire Kuja
Apr 14, 2016
Apr 14, 2016

Hello Tam.

O MY GOD.You always blow me away with your kindness.This is so touching.I am deeply grateful Tam.Thank you so much.Having you is gold.

God bless you

Yours truly,

Kuja.

Sherna Alexander Benjamin
Apr 15, 2016
Apr 15, 2016

Sister Kujamac,

The issue which you have highlighted for your Campaign seems to be a major concern in your geographical location, may your work help thousands and may old norms and and social conditioning be removed with the light of education. 

Sherna

Marie-Claire Kuja
Apr 17, 2016
Apr 17, 2016

Hello Sherna Alexander,

You're so kind.Thank you so much for the blessings.It is my wish too that my work will positively impact thousands in my community.

I am blessed by your encouraging words.

Thanks a lot.

Yours truly,

Kuja

World Pulse Community Champ-SSAG. 

Maya Muñoz-Tobón
Apr 18, 2016
Apr 18, 2016

Kuja,

What amazing work you are taking on in your community, and I am so glad that all your efforts can be supported by this focused campaign.  This is such a valuable step to change cultural norms in so many regions around the world about menstruation, and it is wonderful you are starting with a local community. A couple of thoughts that come to my mind are: how do you envision to use platforms such as World Pulse or other social media platforms? Will you be amplifying the stories of the young women and parents in social media? or perhaps sharing resources for parents and teachers about how to start the conversations? These are ideas to spark your creativity of how to bring all of this great work on the ground to online platforms to possible amplify your reach.

Warmly,

Maya

Marie-Claire Kuja
Apr 18, 2016
Apr 18, 2016

Hello Maya.

Thank you so much for taking the time out to read and give feedback.That was really needed.

Yes yes I have these in my proposal on the question that asked how we intend to use world pulse in our campaign?

I do envision to use platforms such as World Pulse,facebook and twitter to  amplify the stories of the young women and parents in my community  and will use it as a great resource for parents,teachers and health care practitioners to ignite conversations on menstrual hygiene management.

Thank you so much Maya.This was very thoughtful of you. 

Yours truly,

Kuja.

Stephanie Auxier
Apr 21, 2016
Apr 21, 2016

Kuja,

The topic for your Digital Action Campaign is so important! There is so much shame, secrecy, and misunderstanding about menstruation (across the world!) and awareness is the first step. I am excited to see what you put together, and I think you will be able to mobilize a large community of supporters around your campaign because it is such a universal topic - even here in the U.S. we have a ways to go. 

I'm curious about how you will engage parents and teachers to talk about menstruation. Will you create a curriculum that can be shared, or other support for parents or teachers who want to talk to their children/students about the topic but don't know how? I am also wondering if you have anything specific in mind for influencing government officials, such as a petition? I am eager to see the impact you will have with this campaign - I think breaking the silence is definitely where we need to start. 

Warmly,

Stephanie

Marie-Claire Kuja
Apr 21, 2016
Apr 21, 2016

Hello Stephanie.

What  great and helpful feedback from you.First of all thank you for  sparing the time to  read through my plan.You're so appreciated.

I also see a very big picture with my campaign because it's something that has not been done in Cameroon but must be done.Amazingly,many people on the ground are showing a lot of  enthusiasm. 

Yes I have created a curriculum -Menstrual Hygiene guide for students,parents and teachers  which will be launched on the last day of our campaign.Many parents and teachers are ignorant themselves so they greatly need a guide that will enable them to start having those conversations with their students or daughters.

With regards to a petition for government officials,that is in our plan.However,for this campaign we plan to invite government officials to be a part of our campaign.Menstruation is still a very sensitive and taboo subject in Cameroon so we need to get officials along with us tactfully and smartly.I am in touch with a handful of them who have already expressed a strong interest to join us.Once we break the silence,myths and taboos,then we will open up about a petition.

Thank you so Much Steph and please ask more questions or share anymore thoughts you may have.

Yours truly,

Kuja

Ariel
May 05, 2016
May 05, 2016

Hi Kuja!

Yet again you have knocked this assignment out of the park. Your proposal is easy to read, passionate, compelling and well written. I am so excited to hear about all your wonderful projects coming to fruition! Keep on being the great and motivating person you are and good luck with your projects to break the taboos surrounding menstruation!

Sincerely,

Ariel

Marie-Claire Kuja
May 24, 2016
May 24, 2016

Hello dear ashaapu.

I am sorry for running behind.

Thank you so much for your kind words.I am so very excited to start my campaign and see its impact take off.

You're so kind.I will definitely be posting all activities here so everyone gets to follow up and give feedback.

Stay tuned.

Thank you.

Kuja.