Menstruation is a natural process that has been often ignored, admired, challenged, questioned, isolated, but very less have people discussed the facts surrounding it.
It is there in your school curriculum, but people choose to either ignore it or teach it carelessly. It is happening to people at your home, but they behave as secret agents. People think problem is with rural areas, but we see the same issues in urban areas too. We think that the older generation has spoiled how we think about periods, but the current generation too use periods to abuse. We think it is just a “female” problem, but how many of us know that not just women menstruate!!!
SAP started as a pet project for one of our co-founders during her college days. From being all hush-hush about periods to publicly campaigning about it, has been a lot of learning over 7 years, and this has been AWARE’s focus since the last 4 years in the name of Sustainable Menstruation Tamil Nadu (SMTN). This project aims to address the lack of factually right, engaging and socially acceptable knowledge on menstruation. We have been teaching all children and adults, irrespective of gender identity, about their body, and its emotional and physical needs without any shame, confusion or guilt. We aim to address issues of body shaming, impact period positivity, engage care and love towards one’s body, and focus a lot on safety too, especially of the ‘female body’. We question socio-cultural status quo and provide an answer around the following topics –
- Health, Hygiene, Safety,
- Menstrual and Vaginal Products – use, maintenance, & economical viability
- Incorporating Traditional remedies and practices,
- Environmental safety and pollution
We renamed SMTN to Safe Active Periods in March 2018 responding to the vast interest that people have in this field to learn more and engage with us.
Use #SafeActivePeriods to follow us on social media
Is an initiative to learn about menstruation right from the basics. We believe that all of us need to have a certain amount of knowledge about our periods, even if we menstruate or not. We also believe that these discussions should happen in spaces where all genders are present, and even for young children who have not yet attained puberty. Sexual intercourse and “how are babies made?” are two equally important, but often avoided topics that our audience have. We also include these discussions in an age appropriate way. We also see that many people still follow a lot of irrelevant myths and we also offer to help understand how they evolved, and how much we need to overcome these.
The awareness sessions can last from 1 hour to 6 hours depending on who our audience is and what they want to learn. We mostly do 2 hour session for adults and 3 hour sessions for children (including games and activities too).
Body Positivity & Gender Identities
With growing up start our body problems.
FAT, THIN, SHORT, LANKY, PIMPLES, BODY ODOUR, BODY HAIR, BREASTS, CHESTS, HAIR,GENDER, SEXUALITY, SEXUAL IDENTITIES all of these start becoming major problems for children around puberty and this can very well go into adult life and can impact behavior, vulnerability and sometimes even lead to fatal decisions like suicides. These are all major issues that need to be dealt with care and concern, so that they can help themselves and their friends too.
Our sessions also try to address exploring sexuality and succumbing to peer pressure. Art, Theatre, and Games will be used to interact and help to address their issues.
Health & Environment
What’s good for our body is good for our earth, and what’s bad for us is bad for the earth
Many of us think that environment pollution is something far and different from us. We realize very slowly how much our body and its well-being is closely interconnected with our nature. We try to tap this knowledge, from our gut, that’s close to our intuition as Feminine Energy. This energy is not just limited to women, even though most women also fail to tap this. We help our audience connect with this side which can help them be more intuitive, creative, assertive and caring for themselves and for their earth.
Training of Trainers
Apart from our regular awareness sessions, we also conduct Training for future trainers. This is done for other NGOs, corporate and for interested adults. We require a strong level of commitment from your side for this. The modalities for these depend on the organization, and can be customized based on your requirement.