Qrate Empowers at Kingsmead College: Tackling Menstrual Health and Period Poverty Head-On!

Qrate Empowers at Kingsmead College: Tackling Menstrual Health and Period Poverty Head-On!

Hello Qraters,

On November 30th, the Qrate team had the privilege of visiting Kingsmead College, a private all-girls school, to conduct a dynamic Menstrual Health and Period Poverty Workshop. With an audience of 320 girls, the two-hour session proved to be a transformative experience.

For two engaging hours, our dedicated Qrate team led a two-part workshop, diving deep into the nuances of menstrual health and addressing the critical issue of period poverty. The sessions were not just informative; they were interactive, creating a safe space for open dialogue and exploration.

Our Menstrual Health sessions for the Kingsmead Girls were designed to be more than just a presentation; it was an experience. Engaging activities kept the energy high and the conversations flowing. From debunking myths to exploring the different facets of menstrual health, the girls actively participated in every aspect of the workshop. As the workshop unfolded, the enthusiasm in the room was palpable. The girls left inspired, not just with knowledge but with a determination to be catalysts for change. The conversation extended beyond the classroom, with many expressing a newfound commitment to end period poverty in South Africa.

At Qrate, our mission goes beyond education; it’s about empowerment. We believe that by arming young minds with critical thinking skills and knowledge, we can create a generation that dismantles stigmas and advocates for change. The Kingsmead College workshop was a significant step in that direction.

A heartfelt thank you to Kingsmead College for the warm welcome and to the 320 incredible girls who made this workshop a success. Your enthusiasm and commitment to making a difference are truly inspiring. As we reflect on this impactful session, we look forward to more opportunities to collaborate with schools, communities, and organizations.

Together, we can create a future where menstrual health is a right, not a privilege. Period!

Breaking Barriers: Qrate and Siemens Healthineers STEP-UP to deliver Menstrual Health Workshop at Fons Luminis Secondary School

Breaking Barriers: Qrate and Siemens Healthineers STEP-UP to deliver Menstrual Health Workshop at Fons Luminis Secondary School

Hello, Qraters!

On the 20th of November, our commitment to menstrual health education reached new heights as we joined forces with Siemens Healthineers to conduct an enlightening workshop at Fons Luminis Secondary School in Diepkloof, Soweto. This collaboration marked a significant stride towards empowering young minds with knowledge and dismantling menstrual myths.

Siemens Healthineers South Africa is dedicated to fostering the sustainable progress of our community and its residents. The Healthineers team advocates for a supportive approach rather than a one-time charitable contribution, emphasizing ongoing collaboration in social investments. Teaming up with Siemens Healthineers Step Up initiative allowed the Qrate team to leverage their expertise in health education, creating a dynamic and engaging platform for Fons Luminis Secondary School girls. The collaboration aimed to foster an open dialogue about menstrual health, providing a safe space for 141 young girls to learn, share, and grow.

The workshop was designed to focus on the fundamental basics of menstrual health. The activities were informative but also fun and interactive, ensuring that the girls were not just passive listeners but active participants in their education. From understanding the menstrual cycle to exploring different period products, the workshop covered a comprehensive range of topics.

Dispelling myths surrounding menstruation is crucial for fostering a healthy and informed attitude towards this natural bodily process. Through engaging discussions and myth-busting activities, the girls gained insights that will empower them to navigate their menstrual journeys confidently. After the workshop, the Principal of Fons Luminis Secondary School (Mr.Livhuwani Sundani) expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the Qrate workshop sharing his sentiments about the lived realities of school girls and period poverty.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Siemens Healthineers for their unwavering support and commitment to this cause. Together, we’ve planted seeds of knowledge that will undoubtedly blossom into a future where menstrual health is understood, celebrated, and free from stigma. As we reflect on this successful collaboration, we look forward to more opportunities to create positive change, one workshop at a time. Here’s to breaking barriers, shattering myths, and empowering the leaders of tomorrow.

If you are passionate about menstrual health education and believe in empowering young minds, we welcome collaborations and sponsorships to expand our reach and impact. Let’s work together to make a lasting difference.

Reach out to us at info@qrate.org.za. Together, let’s continue the journey of education, empowerment, and breaking taboos. Period!

Empowering Tomorrow: Qrate’s Collaborative Initiative with the Embassy of Argentina at Lowe Primary School

Empowering Tomorrow: Qrate’s Collaborative Initiative with the Embassy of Argentina at Lowe Primary School

Hello, Qraters!

Step into the heart of community development, where Qrate and the Embassy of Argentina in South Africa joined forces for a transformative and empowering day at Lowe Primary School. This collaborative effort marked a significant expansion of the longstanding partnership, moving beyond sports development to address a critical issue: period poverty.

On the day, we had 140 young girls engage in our fun Menstrual Health Workshop. Facilitated by our Qrate facilitator Lebo Kotane, this session aimed not only to impart knowledge but also to foster a sense of empowerment among the participants. From debunking myths to delivering accurate information, the workshop became a safe space of enlightenment, equipping these young individuals with essential insights into menstrual health.

The day unfolded into an Art Prizegiving ceremony, acknowledging and celebrating the artistic prowess of Lowe Primary’s students. This multi-dimensional approach, combining education with creativity, exemplifies Qrate’s commitment to fostering holistic development within communities.

A commendable extension of commitment by the Embassy of Argentina was witnessed on this occasion. Known for their contributions to sports development at Lowe Primary School, the Embassy has now taken a holistic approach by addressing period poverty. Beyond the distribution of menstrual products, this collaboration underscores a commitment to ensuring that no student’s education is hindered by the lack of access to essential hygiene resources. In light of the success achieved through this collaboration, Qrate extends a formal call to action to organizations across sectors. The issue at hand—period poverty—is a shared challenge that demands collective attention. Organizations, regardless of scale, are invited to align their efforts with Qrate to contribute substantively to the eradication of period poverty.

Corporations, non-profit entities, and individuals with a vested interest in societal well-being are encouraged to explore engagement opportunities. Collaborative initiatives, sponsorships, and volunteer endeavours are pathways through which collective efforts can make a tangible impact on the lives of those affected by period poverty.

Qrate’s collaborative initiative at Lowe Primary School serves as a testament to the power of strategic partnerships in effecting positive change. From menstrual health education to artistic appreciation, the day encapsulated a vision for an empowered future.

Ready to make a difference? Contact Qrate to express interest in collaborating on Menstrual Health Workshops at info@qrate.org.za.

Unsilencing The Period Talk In Sports

Unsilencing The Period Talk In Sports

Hello Qraters!

Have you ever missed physical education lessons at school or any other sporting commitments because you were on your period?

The fact is that menstruators across the world are missing out on sports because of their periods due to the inaccessibility of period products, while others have felt self-conscious and embarrassed to participate during their period due to societal stigmas.

By working to break down harmful period stigma, we can ensure no one has to miss or avoid participating in sports while on their period because having your period should not get in the way of you participating in sports,

In June, Qrate and Football Without Borders SA collaborated to take a step toward flipping the narrative on menstruation for young South African athletes. The workshop left the young athletes empowered, knowing that they can, too, thrive in the sporting world as menstruators.

Period Poverty in South African Schools

Millions of menstruators in South Africa are not able to afford or cannot access period products. This is known as period poverty.

Respective research conducted in South African Schools by the Menstrual Hygiene Management and The Borgen Project found that:

  • 83% of menstruating learners do not have regular access to menstrual hygiene products both at school and at home;
  • 1 in 4 learners (who menstruate) miss school monthly because they lack access to menstrual hygiene products and support during their menstrual periods;
  • An estimated 30% of South African menstruators do not attend school while they are on their period because they do not have sanitary products.

How Does Period Poverty Affect Sports Participation?

The statistics above in South African schools reflect the realities that menstruators face across society. Menstruators play on an uneven playing field due to existing period stigmas, period product inequality, and inaccessibility. This translates to missed training, missed competitions, and increased dropouts of menstruators in sports. In summary, these are MISSED OPPORTUNITIES and LOST POTENTIAL for millions of girls, and women.

What Can We Learn From Football Without Borders SA?

Our workshop with Football Without Borders SA was a special one because it was telling that there are sports clubs and organisations that are making efforts to provide and integrate menstrual health education for their athletes to ensure that menstruators have a safe and comfortable environment. Not only is menstrual education important for the athletes but also for the coaches and staff members to understand how to support menstruators.

The more we can start normalising menstrual conversations and education in sports, the easier it will be to spread support. If we start talking more openly about periods – a menstruator who might be struggling with their period would be more open to seek support from their parents, coaches, or staff members to get help and advice.

Sparking conversations about menstruation health enables us to celebrate what women on their periods have achieved, and helps to break taboos while opening the door for an important mindset shift in sports regarding periods. The more conversations we can have about periods in sports, the easier it can become to set setting higher standards for girls and women in sports to be protected and supported.

Did You Know That Qrate Is On A Nationwide Period Positive Tour? 🩸

Qrate is on a period tour all across South Africa. If any schools or youth organisations would like to get involved or be a part of the period positive tour, please email info@qrate.co.za

Qrate LEAPS together in bringing Period Positivity to the Leap Maths & Science School girls!

Qrate LEAPS together in bringing Period Positivity to the Leap Maths & Science School girls!

Hello, Qraters!

Menstruation is a natural biological process experienced by half of the world’s population, yet it remains a topic shrouded in stigma and shame. Educating young girls about menstruation is essential so they can understand their bodies and manage their menstrual cycles confidently.

On the 19th and 20th of April, Qrate hosted a menstruation workshop for the 120 girl learners from Leap Sciences and Maths School in Diepsloot and Linbro Park. In collaboration with the Leap Institute’s Learning and Living Labs Leader, Neliswa Nyandeni, our facilitators Candice, Felicia, and Selo hosted an impactful two-day workshop that covered a wide range of topics, including the biology of menstruation, menstrual health practices, menstrual products, and the emotional and mental aspects of menstruation.

Qrate facilitated an interactive workshop that engaged the participants in empowering activities to learn more about their bodies and periods while leading critical discussions on the impact of period stigma in society. The workshop held a safe space for our participants to express themselves freely through dance, singing, sharing their experiences, and asking questions about all things periods.

The two-day workshop was packed with fun activities that promote the engagement and participation of the students. The #KnowYourFlo session kickstarted with energizing icebreakers to encourage the students to feel encouraged to participate.

Our workshop also used visual learning as a way in which participants could learn more about periods. During our workshop, we showed an animated short video introducing periods and a short movie called “First Period”. The “First Period” was a powerful visual experience because it showed the participants a period-positive world that contrasts the lived realities of the period stigma millions of menstruators continue to face today. This video highlighted to the participants that creating a period-positive world is possible if we break the period stigma within ourselves, communities, and governance structures.

At Qrate, we aim to transfer period experiences and knowledge through our true and false quizzes, period myths game, and our what would you do game. 

  • True and False Game: Our participants took part in a quick-fire True or False quiz that questioned participants about the quick facts about periods and period statistics. The true or false quiz highlighted the sheer magnitude of the menstrual inequality world concerning mainstreaming access to period products, menstrual health, and menstrual education. 
  • Alien Game: The Alien game was not just about learning about the applications of the various menstrual products but also a research activity where the students got to dig deep to understand what type of materials are used to manufacture the different menstrual products. This menstrual product research got the participants thinking about the impact of certain period products on our environment and planet.

The workshop closed with the participants taking their period pledge, vowing to talk openly about periods so they are part of the change in breaking the chain of stigma towards periods. The students each received period products from our period partners: The Pad Princess and Komani Pads.

We’d like to thank the Leap Institute for inviting Qrate to host the #KnowYourFlo Period Workshops! We’re excited for delivering our workshops to the other Leap Schools in South Africa as part of our ongoing #PeriodPositiveTour.

To invite Qrate to your school or organisation, reach out to the Qrate team on: info@qrate.org.za.

The Girls of Noordwyk Secondary School Tackle Period Stigma!

The Girls of Noordwyk Secondary School Tackle Period Stigma!

Hello Qraters!

With the new year already in full motion, we are honoured to have hosted our first workshop of 2023 with Noordwyk Secondary School. Our founder and director, Candice Chirwa, facilitated an exciting and educational menstrual talk and workshop with 200 Grade 8 and 9 students.

South African students attending a menstrual health and education workshop.

The early morning workshop was kickstarted with icebreakers to get the girls comfortable with freely speaking about periods. These ice-breakers opened a dialogue that allowed the students to express their opinions and views on periods. Next, the students participated in a vagina mediation session that literally knocked two birds with one stone because it first had the students stretched and warmed up for the day, and secondly, the vagina mediation taught the students the different parts of the female reproductive system.

South African students listening to a menstrual health and education workshop.
Candice Chirwa faciliating a menstrual education workshop in South Africa.

Following that, the students took part in a True or False educational quiz that questioned the young girls about the basics of periods, period products, and debunking period taboos. The true or false quiz highlighted the sheer magnitude of the menstrual inequality world in regard to mainstreaming access to period products, menstrual health, and menstrual education. Then, the students participated in a period product alien game where they practically partook in peer-to-peer learning about different period products and their applications. 

The workshop closed with the students taking their period pledge, vowing to talk openly about periods so they are part of the change in breaking the chain of stigma towards periods. At Qrate, we are all about spreading period positivity with all the students and people we engage with.

We received great feedback from teacher Martha, the Head of Department of Life Orientation at Noordwyk Secondary School, stating that she was very happy with the workshop as it offered an interactive and enjoyable platform for her students to learn about mensuration. Watch the video below to hear teacher Martha’s full reflection on the workshop.

We would also like to give a special thank you and a big shout-out to SkinBodyRenewal and Konami Girl for their generous donation of 200 packs of reusable Konami pads to the Grade 8 students. Your partnership and relentless commitment to addressing period product access is part of the driving force that continues to push and inspire the period community to continue to strive for greater reach in addressing menstrual inequality and mainstreaming menstrual education.

Qrate workshop partners
Candice Chirwa and Qrate's partners from Skin Body Renewal

To the Noordwyk Secondary School 8th and 9th Graders, teachers, and teacher Martha (HOD of Life Orientation/ SBSG Co-ordinator), you were phenomenal! Thank you for engaging and adding value to the workshop. As we pledged, remember to talk about periods because our periods are power. And that’s on, period!

Two Noordwyk Secondary Students proudly holding their workshop certificates.

This year Qrate is going on a period tour all across South Africa. If you would like your organization to experience the Qrate Menstruation Workshop, please email info@qrate.org.za