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Break the silence, don’t let periods stop you

Saturday 12 March 2022 | Written by Te Ipukarea Society | Published in Opinion, Raro on my mind


Break the silence, don’t let periods stop you
Maine mura campaign was presented to around 300 students on Rarotonga including the bright and bubbly senior female students of Nukutere College. PHORTO: TIS/22031101

That’s a wrap with the Maine Mura awareness raising campaign presentations! ‘Maine Mura’ is an awareness raising initiative discussing the importance of women’s health and reusable feminine hygiene products that our young ladies and women here on Rarotonga can use during their menstrual cycle, writes Te Ipukarea Society.

Maine Mura presentations have been successfully rolled out to all of the Pa Enua and we have just finished the presentations here on Rarotonga.

Through this programme we were fortunate enough to present to five of the senior colleges that responded positively to accepting the training. These included Papaaroa Adventist School, Titikaveka College, Tereora College, Nukutere College and Apii Te Uki Ou. We had the opportunity to speak with around 300 senior students which ranged from Year 8’s to Year 13’s on women’s health and alternative reusable feminine hygiene products.

The campaign which incorporates health, economic, social and environmental factors was a joint collaborative effort between Te Ipukarea Society and the Cook Islands Family Welfare Association (CIFWA). Alexanna Haible (CIFWA nurse) and Lani Vano were able to speak towards the various services CIFWA provides as well talk a bit more about topics that sometimes don’t get much attention at home or at school i.e. why women get their periods and what symptoms women may experience during this time.  

Team TIS spoke about the environmental impacts that come with disposable products such as sanitary pads on our land fill and on the burn pit. What alternative reusable feminine hygiene products there are to mitigate these impacts, as well as the financial savings women can experience by using reusable products.

The reusable products discussed included reusable pad kits (from Days for Girls), moon cups (from MyCup), and period undies (from AWWA and MyCup). The process of how to use and cleanse these reusable products was also discussed so that the girls can get the best use out of them, and of course so they are safe to reuse again.

We are very fortunate that this programme has also offered an opportunity for the girls in these classes to trial the reusable feminine hygiene products. They were all given a reusable pad kit for free. They were also given the option to trial a moon cup or period undie for free to help them decide what products might work for them now or potentially try again in the future.

So far, we have received excellent feedback from the students in regards to the presentations on the reusable products. One student from Tereora College said, “I thought the presentation was interesting because I haven’t heard this topic talked about that much. I learned that there were reusable things that you could use and I didn’t know.”

We would like to thank our donors UNESCO participation fund for making this programme possible and to those schools on Rarotonga that gave us the opportunity to present this information and these options to our young ladies.

Keep menstrual hygiene right, to make your future bright!