For the past 2 months, Sharana’s social worker Vadivu has been leading a group for adolescent girls each Saturday*. During these weekly sessions, Vadivu has covered a range of topics from mensuration to make-up. As the girls have grown more comfortable and confident with each other, honest conversations about these subjects have flourished. However, for many of the girls, these discussions are still silenced at home by social stigma, meaning they haven’t even talked about these issues with their mothers.
Given this, it was decided it was time to bring the mothers in, with the aim to engender some healthy conversations about their daughter’s bodily changes and their own bodies.
On the 30th October Sharana held a special mother’s meeting. In all, 20 mothers from both the Back to School program and the Street and Slum program attended the meeting. It was a brilliant morning, in which the women were given the opportunity to learn and discuss. The conversations were facilitated by Vadivu and Kirija, an external expert who specialises in training NGO personnel to work with women and girls.
All who came were given tea and snacks. The conversation centred mensuration and personal hygiene. The mothers were also given some natural herbal remedy ideas for period cramps.
The overall tone of the event was set by Kirija, who tackled more taboo subjects with humour and openness, putting all those who attended at ease. This made the session very participatory and Kirija was more than happy to answer all the mother’s questions. She also took time after the workshop to allow women to come and discuss their more personal concerns in private.
The feedback we received for the event was overwhelming positive. Given this, and the clear lack of knowledge surrounding certain subjects, it has been decided that a mothers’ meeting, like this, should be held monthly or once every two months.
A big shout out to all the social workers who all came together to support this meeting by reaching out to the mothers and encouraging as much attendance as possible.
*For further information see a recent blog on the Adolescent Girls’ Group: http://sharana.org/2018/09/18/sharana-restarts-workshops-with-adolescent-girls/