For any girl or woman in the world, periods can be a hassle. In developing countries, lack of hygiene products, water, and sanitation facilities as well as deeply rooted taboos make a menstrual cycle even harder. Many women and girls cannot carry out their day-to-day activities like attending school or work during their period which prevents them from reaching their full potential.
Lunette has a strong vision of empowering women and girls globally by breaking menstruation taboos with the Lunette Menstrual Cup; an alternative to traditional pads and tampons. It is made of medical-grade silicone, is hygienic, comfortable, safe to use for many years and causes no disposable waste.
Lunette believes education and awareness is key to improving menstrual hygiene management (MHM). The company is working with organisations around the world who share this vision, including Fida International with whom Lunette have piloted a comprehensive MHM package in Mwanza, Tanzania. Local boys and girls receive training on puberty, reproductive health, menstrual hygiene and on the usage of the menstrual cup. Fida has identified 20 male and female trainers within the community who have started a training-of-trainers programme (TOT) in order to ensure sustainability of the project.
The TOT is run in cooperation with Lunette and The Cup Foundation, who have been working in Kenya since 2005 developing a training curricula that tackles challenges faced by underprivileged girls and boys while growing up, including MHM. The Cup Foundation believes communication is key in education and role models are an important way of positively influencing young people.
This is why the Cup Foundation’s training is based on a big-sister/big-brother model, where the trainers share their life stories and experiences and are available for answering questions and giving support following the training. Based on research, peer support is also an essential driver for the acceptability of the menstrual cup. Valuable discussions include topics such as whether using a menstrual cup will cause a young girl to lose her virginity.
During the pilot, 100 girls and 50 boys in Mwanza secondary schools will be trained in reproductive health and menstrual hygiene management. The menstrual cup was chosen as part of the trial due to its economic and ecological advantages. Waste disposal is not an issue and only a small amount of water is needed for the cleaning of the cup. The one-time investment on the cup gives the girls a sanitary product that will last for years.