PERIOD MATTERS

Catherine De Freitas
Posted May 29, 2021 from Trinidad and Tobago

I grew up in a small community in Trinidad and Tobago with what I call 'humble beginnings" . My siblings and I did not consider ourselves poor, until it was pointed out to us because we were not privy to certain amenities.I remember when I got my first period, I had no access to sanitary napkins and my mom gave me cloth to use. I remember feeling embarrassed, scared and ashamed. ( especially at school). Whenever, I got my period I did not want to go to school.

As the years went by and I entered the working arena, I made it a point to stock up on large bags of sanitary napkin ( because I was afraid of running out). When my daughters started having their period I did the same thing. I remember my daughter coming home from school one day with tears in her eyes. She explained that a student confided in her that she had no "supplies". She said it broke her heart so much. Although I sympathized, and offered assistance ,I did not give it much thought.

It would not be until years later after going through traumatic events in my life, I decided to start a Non Profit Organization that focuses on menstrual equity. I was determined to reach out to young girls and women who are disadvantaged by socio-economic circumstances.

Women of Purpose Trinidad and Tobago (WOPTT) is an NPO that is committed to empowering women and girls from all strata of society. We help women achieve menstrual equity, provide feminine care packages, educate and promote holistic  development .We have also collaborated with other organizations with similar visions and understands that women need to also have options, including cloth pads, menstrual underwear and menstrual cups. So although growing up I thought using cloth was bad , it turns out it was better for me. :)

We also launched our first project called 'ALL ABOUT M.E.' This project aims to inform and educate on menstrual product safety, options and barriers.

We continue to ring the bell for our sisters and hope in the future to break barriers and the stigma associated with speaking and understanding periods.

#PERIODMATTERS

This story was submitted in response to Menstruation Matters.

Comments 11

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May 29
May 29
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Susu Mohamed
May 29
May 29

Dear catherine,
wow well done for starting NGO I am very happy to read your story keep up supporting your community.
Regards,
suu

Catherine De Freitas

Hello sis,
Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it very much. :) Hope all is well with you. Blessings. :)

Beth Lacey
May 31
May 31

Good luck with your NGO. This is very important work.

Catherine De Freitas

Thank you Beth. I appreciate it. :) Have a great day.

Olutosin
Jun 01
Jun 01

Thank you for your great work. Highly important.

Catherine De Freitas

Thank you sis. I appreciate it. Abundant blessings. :)

oben Tati
Jun 01
Jun 01

This is great dear Catherine ,I wish u all the best in your work

Catherine De Freitas

Hello Sis, Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Blessings :)

Nini Mappo
Jun 02
Jun 02

Keep shining sister Catherine! Your vision and mission inspire me :)

Catherine De Freitas

Thank you sis. I appreciate your kind words. Blessings :)