It is important to be at peace with yourself. It is important to feel confident in your own body. Most of all, it is really important not to be ashamed of something you are biologically programmed to have.
Upon my arrival in India, I learned a lot about its food, its culture, and some of its traditions. But I have to say, I was really surprised to learn how menstruation was perceived. For me and my friends, having our first periods was something to be proud of. Yes, it wasn’t something you publically announced but it was definitely not something to be ashamed of either.
By being a part of SNHP, I got a chance to observe and be in contact with women from various age groups and backgrounds. Seeing their reactions to what Sarika told them about menstruation, was eye-opening. I realized just how much I have taken my knowledge for granted: knowledge about my own biology, about menstrual hygiene and about pain-relief.
SNHP, in a way, helps these women and girls to embrace themselves and get rid of negative emotions surrounding this natural phenomenon via education. An education many don’t receive because most women are too shy to talk about it even with their daughters.
I had a great time working with Sarika and the other volunteers. I am so grateful for everything I’ve learned and experienced. It has been an unforgettable journey and while I’m sad I could only be a part of it for six weeks, I’m looking forward to seeing what SNHP achieves in the future.