In India, an estimate of 23 per cent girls drop out of school as soon as they reach puberty, one of the primary reasons being lack of awareness and access to healthy menstrual practices. This saliently impacts the universal sustainable development goals of gender equality and women empowerment, along with inclusive, quality education. The crucial element that has laid the foundation of this fellowship is that making menstruation a non-issue also influences other factors key to living a dignified life.
About The Period Fellowship
The Period Fellowship will bring together young, dynamic women from diverse backgrounds to create awareness on menstruation and menstrual hygiene among one million girls in urban and rural India, during the course of one year. The fellows will encourage girls to understand the changes their body undergoes and reflect upon their personal practices, while exploring concepts like hygiene, menstrual cycle, PMS and superstitions, through interactive sessions in various educational institutions. The objective of The Period Fellowship is to engage with the often stigmatised subject of menstruation and initiate conversations, questions and curiosity about periods among adolescent girls. We are looking to build a repository of knowledge on experiences gathered from around the country on menstruation and issues that surround it. Through this teaching-learning experience, our fellows will understand where young girls stand in terms of knowledge on menstruation, simultaneously developing teaching, managerial and leadership skills during the course of the fellowship on a personal level.
We believe that any change has to come from within the system, while we play the role of catalysts. Hence, our engagement with girls on menstrual hygiene is two-fold. During the one-year fellowship, the fellows will initiate conversations around menstrual hygiene in schools, talking to a diverse set of adolescent girls, while also creating awareness among teachers in the educational institutions they engage with. The idea is to bring change by building an understanding of menstruation and issues that surround it. This will be done through dialogue and teaching-learning sessions which will include methodologies to ensure that the process is participatory and interactive.
To ensure long-term self-sustainability of this initiative, the fellows will introduce the peer learning model in each school they engage with. The peer learning model allows for self-sustainability of the project, with limited external intervention. The primary idea is that peer educators and learners share a degree of experience, desire and empathy to help and learn from each other. The fellows and programme coordinators will work on capacity building of the peer learning group during the fellowship, so that the peer learning group can independently take the initiative forward with the incoming batches in future. We, at Sukhibhava, constantly strive to engage with diverse groups of girls and women to create awareness on the subject of menstruation and bring about sustainable behavioural change. However, we also understand that there is a huge potential in adolescents to be pioneers of change themselves by breaking the taboo and talking about menstruation. The objective of the two-fold engagement with adolescent girls in educational institutions is to initiate and sustain change.
The fellowship will begin with an intensive, two-week induction, after which the cohort will shift to their respective field locations. We acknowledge that the fellowship will be a shift to an intensive, stimulating experience and we will facilitate the transformation of gears in as smooth a way as possible through our induction and training programme. In the first month, the fellows spend time identifying and networking with schools in the region, collecting specific data through a needs assessment. This period will also be utilised by the cohort in building community relationships, while ensuring that the logistics and networking are organised to ensure a smooth flowing fellowship process. The following months are spent conducting sessions on menstrual hygiene with girls and teachers in these schools, while also forming peer learning groups, which will ensure sustainability of the programme. The fellows’ responsibility will also include managing and coordinating the sessions with educational institutions, for which the core team will provide support to ensure stability on ground.
Additionally, the fellowship will also involve retreats and performance reviews at regular intervals, which will bring the cohort together and allow them to engage with each other and share and learn from each other’s experiences.
Who we are looking for
In this journey, we are looking forward to working with motivated women and transwomen,
who are enthusiastic about engaging with young girls in urban and rural areas. We hope to
engage with a diverse set of fellows, who can demonstrate the ability to independently handle
work, are grounded in their perspectives and are intent on making menstruation a non-issue.
We believe that people of all age groups have the potential to be part of The Period
Applications open: November 15, 2017
Round 1 applications close: December 25, 2017
Round 2 applications close: January 15, 2018
First Round announcement: January 27, 2018
Second round announcement: February 20, 2018
Final round: March 15, 2018
Programme dates: May 15, 2018 to April 30, 2019
If you have further queries, please reach out to us – email@example.com
The fellowship is a full-time engagement, wherein we expect the cohort to commit to the project for an entire year.
Each programme coordinator will be responsible for a set of fellows in a region, in terms of handling logistics, providing support to the fellows at every stage and ensuring the safety of the fellows they work with.
The regions we are currently looking to work in are urban and rural Karnataka, Pune, Hyderabad, and Chennai. Hence, the prospective fellows should proficient in English and one or more of these languages – Kannada, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Konkani, Tulu, and Marathi.
The remuneration will be dependent on the regional placement of the fellow. An urban fellow will be paid Rs 25,000 per month, while a rural fellow will be paid Rs 30,000 per month. We recognize that working in rural India comes with its set of challenges, and hence, the differential payment. In addition, shared accommodation will be provided for fellows in all regions.