My Elevator Pitch:Overcoming Menstrual Taboos To Empower Young Women

Marie-Claire Kuja
Posted March 23, 2016 from United States
Empowering and impacting lives
Your truly at work in one of our schools donating sanitary pads to girls.

I am Marie-Claire N kuja, asanitary pad campaignerand an empowermentand menstrual hygiene activist. To overcome menstrual taboos that cause girls in my community to feel ashamed and unworthy, I foundedKujaPads Initiative. This campaign empowers school girls in the North West region of Cameroon to stay on track in school and reach their full potential, rather than continuing to experience the shame attached to the old stigmas and myths about menses. By providing sanitary napkins and giving empowerment workshops on self-esteem building and menstrual hygiene management, KujaPads Initiative is aimed at encouraging women and girls to embrace menstruation with pride and regain their dignity and the respect they deserve.​ ​

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ARREY- ECHI
Mar 25, 2016
Mar 25, 2016

Clearly written and clearly defined goals. All the very best.

Marie-Claire Kuja
Mar 28, 2016
Mar 28, 2016

Hello Arrey. Thank you immensely for empowering me always with your kind words. Have a blessed day. With much love and strength to sisterhood. Kuja Community Champion @Sub Saharan Africa Group.

helen.ng
Mar 25, 2016
Mar 25, 2016

Hello!

This is a lovely post with such useful information for everyone! I completely agree with you in the importance of empowering females in taking pride in their bodies and accepting themselves. Providing the sanitary pads while girls are menstruating will help keep them in school and help in ensuring that they can fulfil their potential. This was also written very nicely! Thank you for sharing!

With warm regards,

Helen Ng

Marie-Claire Kuja
Mar 28, 2016
Mar 28, 2016

Hello dear Helen.

Thanks a lot for stopping by and commenting so lovingly and encouragingly. I appreciate you. Stay blessed. With sisterly love from New York. Kuja.

Carolyn Seaman
Mar 28, 2016
Mar 28, 2016

Sister Marie-claire,

Great pitch! I love KujaPads Initiative. And you do such beautiful outreaches with the girls. I am curious to learn your encounter with Muslim girls (if your outreach targets them too) and how you are able to break the myths and taboos without appearing offensive to their religious beliefs. The rural community I would encounter in a few weeks is predominantly Muslim and I also want to share basic education about menstruation and hygiene with the girls. 

Keep up your great work Sister!

Best wishes,

Marie-Claire Kuja
Mar 28, 2016
Mar 28, 2016

Hello Carol. Thanks so much for your kind words. Yes I have visited and help workshop sessions with Muslim girls on menstrual hygiene through their school principals. Have in mind that menstruation is treated differently in different cultures therefore making it a very sensitive topic. You should start by contacting the school administration or community leaders of the girls you will love to meet next week? Work with them.Ask them how they treat menstruation and any leads they could give you on how to approach the issue. Then just keep it basic as you rightly said until you get proper training on tackling menstrual hygiene management. Hope this helps Carol. Don't hesitate to reach out @ kujamac@yahoo.com for more info. Yours truly. Kuja

Carolyn Seaman
Mar 28, 2016
Mar 28, 2016

Thank you for sharing these helpful tips. I am not a trained health expert and so my interest is only to educate the girls with basic information about the menstrual cycle and how they can keep themselves up and active. My focus is to educate them so that they are empowered to challenge the myths and taboos. We would definitely engage the community as well so that we can get their buy-in to engage the girls and also have the community give the girls a listening ear.

You can be sure I would reach out to you where I have any need. And I  keep cheering you on to keep achieving and empowering girls.

Warm regards,

Marie-Claire Kuja
Mar 28, 2016
Mar 28, 2016

You got it Carol. Fire right on.Am here for you. Thank you for trusting in me. Good luck and more strength and courage as you take on such an empowering journey. May God lead you on. With much love and sisterly support. Kuja @CC@ Sub Saharan Africa Group.

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby
Mar 31, 2016
Mar 31, 2016

Oh, Kuja, this is BEAUTIFUL and POWERFUL. Once again, you've done a wonderful job of getting your mission across. I bow to you.  With Great Respect and Admiration -  Sarah

Marie-Claire Kuja
Mar 31, 2016
Mar 31, 2016

Hello dearest Sarah. This is all thanks to your love,kindness and dedication to see me succeed. Even though the video is a little longer, I so love the concept and will definitely improve with time. I bow in respect and appreciation to you for all. Much love. Yours truly Kuja.

Ariel
Apr 05, 2016
Apr 05, 2016

Hi Kuja,

Great video! I love how you keep mixing up your posts with photos, written pieces and videos. First off, you look very professional (love the outfit!) in your video and you spoke slowly and definitively so your audience could understand fully what your project is about and how passionate you are about it.

It would be so cool if you could get video of some of the young women you are impacting. Hearing their voice I think would make your very strong piece even stronger. I work for a non-profit and we are just now starting to gather stories from the kids we are impacting because we have realized how impactful they can be. Keep up the good work, you are doing such a great job!

Sincerely,

Ariel

Marie-Claire Kuja
Apr 05, 2016
Apr 05, 2016

Hello ashaapu.

Thanks for stopping by.Thank you always for the encouraging comments.I am truly grateful.I the way you compliment me too.

I have plans of interviewing the girls in our program so as to add to the video.Great recommendation.How do you gather stories from the kids you work with please? I intend to use a phone or video camera and just ask them questions and let them answer.

Please kindly share how you do yours.

Thank you so kindly.

Yours truly,

Kuja-

CC with Sub-Saharan Africa Group.

Ariel
Apr 12, 2016
Apr 12, 2016

Dear Kuja,

When we gather stories from kids we first make sure they are interested in telling their story and that their parents are ok with it as well. Then I like to make sure they feel comfortable with me by asking fun questions, so I ask them about what their favorite sport is or ice cream, things like that. Then I ask them about the program that we are doing. For us, we are ensuring that kids are environmentally literate. Meaning that they understand what the environment is so they can develop a connection to it to take care of it so that we can continue living healthy lives in our communities. We ask kids why they like to learn about the environment and how it makes them feel. Things like that. I think using a phone or video camera would be just fine. Even getting quotes from the kids you work to post on your website or in your videos is very powerful! 

Good luck and I hope this was helpful =)

Sincerely,

Ariel

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

Hello Ashaapu.

Thank you.

Waoo am grateful that you stopped by to share this with me.That's so kind of you.

I will certainly pick out some helpful tips from you to help me in connecting data on my work.

Stay blessed.

Yours truly,

Kuja