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.
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.
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
On the 28th of September, we hosted two menstruation workshops in ONE day. Our facilitators Felicia and Candice started the morning with a workshop at Brescia House in Bryanston for the girls of grade 7s, 8s, and 9s. As part of the Menstrual Project, Brescia House is committed to ending period poverty by donating period products to schools in need. Their teacher, Mrs. Williams is very passionate about the power of education and felt the need for the girls to learn about everything period related.
The fun-filled and jam-packed workshop kickstarted with our fun icebreakers to ease the girls into the workshop. Following that a video took the participants on a visual journey of the experience of the first period in a world of full-fledged period positivity and support for periods. The workshop included an eye-opening quiz that assisted the participants to debunk numerous menstrual myths and taboos. This activity aided to contextualize the challenging circumstances that millions of menstruators face around the globe. Following that, the students were tasked with participating in a period poverty quiz that allowed them to understand the dire circumstances that menstruators in South Africa and the rest of the world have to face every single month. In our final activity, we did our favorite task the Alien Game where five girls were nominated to present period products and explain the use and purpose of each period product. In conclusion, the girls did a period pledge to remain committed to building a period-positive world.
Brescia House High School Teacher, Genevieve Savary-Williams thoroughly enjoyed the workshop in particular in highlighting the economic challenges menstruators faced in South Africa. She even discussed the plans for Bresica House to be involved in donating period products to other school organizations in Johannesburg in the upcoming future.
Later on in the day, we teamed up with The Pad Princess to deliver a quick menstruation workshop for the girls of Sparrow Combined Technical Skills School in Melville. The Pad Princess has recently launched their own dignity kits that include reusable pads, period underwear, and toiletries that young menstruators require when on their period. As part of their program, The Pad Princess team invited Qrate to deliver a presentation on understanding periods and in particular understanding how to take care of period products.
The girls of Sparrow Combined Technical Skills School had a lot of engaging and important questions which added to the positive mood of the workshop. Facilitators Candice and Felicia spent a lot of time going into the biological process of periods and in particular dispelling any myths and stigmas around period products.
We can confidently say that the girls of Sparrow Combined Technical Skills School and Brescia House are Edulifted about periods!
Role models matter, especially for women. Patriarchy and gendered stereotypes still have a significant impact in undermining the potential, capacity, and ambitions of millions of women across the globe. In a world where women are constantly confronted with predefined archetypes, numerous female powerhouses continue to shatter the glass ceilings of what is achievable for women.
To celebrate the closing of women’s month, Qrate is giving a nod to seven exceptional women in South Africa who are creating spaces for women to rise to greater heights.
Have you come across the Netflix hit show Blood and Water? Well, Nosipho is one of the leading geniuses that worked their magic in executing this South African series gold. Blood and Water is just the tip of the iceberg of Nosipho’s filmography credits as a director, writer, and executive producer. Nosipho is a trailblazing filmmakerwho is achieving new feats of what it means to be a young black female director in the film and television industry. Being in an industry that often sidelines women of colour from taking the lead, Nosipho is the change that is bringing a fresh take in film-making in South Africa and beyond. Representation is extremely important to Nosipho because she never saw women of colour occupying the spaces she is in today. Today, Nosipho continues to pave the way for increased representation in front and behind the screens.
Driven by the ethos, “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for”, Farai has chosen the path to take matters into her own hands to be the change. Farai is a young feminist, pan-Africanist, and changemaker who is invested in creating brighter futures on the African continent through empowering the youth. As the Co-founder ofAfrica Matters Initiative and the Chief Partnerships Officer at YES(Youth Employment Services), Farai is committed to capacitating the youth to achieve their fullest potential through capacity-building means that aim to equip youth across Africa with the necessary skills, knowledge, and support to thrive.
Farai is creating waves with her strong leadership that continues to inspire, empower, and lead countless people from all walks of life. Farai is a testament that being a leader is not defined by age or position but rather by being an individual who is unafraid of growth and is committed to generating collective impact.
Thandile is an intersectional climate and social activist who is passionate about securing inclusive transitions towards sustainable development. As the Climate and Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace Africa, Thandile has continued to use her platform to be an outspoken advocate for the voiceless community groups that are often underrepresented in international and national climate change responses. Her work is focused on ‘leaving no one behind’ in creating socially equitable communities in South Africa.
Thandile’s work takes a feminist and intersectional approach that clearly indicates that addressing climate change needs a nuanced responses that address the varying contexts of different demographics across South Africa. To Thandile, everything is interconnected therefore, we need to collectively make intersectional solutions that will effectively shift the needle of socio-environmental development towards a morally just path for humanity and the planet.
Colourful, vibrant, and rooted are the words that describe Karabo Poppy’scaptivating art. Karabo Poppy’s artistic creations have taken form in countless ways, from the walls of buildings to the design of your KFC bucket or shoes. The young artist has worked with the likes of global giants such as Nike, Google, and Apple – to name a few. Karabo’s journey to being a full-fledged artist has been a story of self-discovery, determination, and following one’s heart despite being confronted with uncertainties as a young black female artist. Karabo’s art has a visible and cultural imprint on contemporary African art and Afrofuturism. The Forbes 30 under 30 alumni, takes full pride in her African roots while continuing to use her art to support developmental programs across Africa. Karabo Poppy is an inspirational force for the next generation of young African artists. Karabo remains true to the movement of bringing African female excellence to a global stage.
Thembiis already making her mark as one of the greatest athletes in South Africa. Kgatlana is a professional football player who currently plays forward for Racing Louisville FC and South Africa’s women’s national team. The football star has represented South Africa at the highest levels in football such as participating in the Olympics, the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations. Additionally, Thembi has received numerous accolades to her name including being the Best Player, Top Scorer, and Women’s Footballer of the Year in the CAF Africa Women Cup of Nations in 2018. A recent addition to Thembi’s astounding professional resume is being part of the winning Banyana Banyana team that won the 2022 CAF Africa Women’s Cup of Nations.
Discipline, sheer determination, and teamwork have shaped Thembi to achieve sporting greatness. According to Thembi, ‘teamwork makes the dream work’ in creating sporting excellence on the pitch. Thembi is both an inspiration and a symbol to many young girls that they can too choose and excel in professional athleticism.
Currently, women make up only 28% of the workforce in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) however, women like Zandile are working towards overturning this narrative. As the chairperson and founder of GirlCode and EmpowerXx, Zandile is devoted to raising awareness, educating, and up-skilling girls in STEM. Through GirCode and EmpowerXx, Zandile and her team have been able to host the biggest all-female annual hackathons in South Africa; host monthly educational workshops on robotics that have impacted over 3000 learners, while providing internships and employment opportunities to university students at both of her organisations. The ripple effect of Zandile’s leadership and social entrepreneurship endeavours has been powerful, as it has opened the doors in accelerating numerous tracks for women to enter and flourish in STEM-focused professions and businesses.
Zandile is a firm believer in expanding opportunities that will uplift both the social and economic status of women. Her mission is to create a generation where women have a seat at the table in the creation and development of technologies in South Africa.
Last but not least is Qrate’s very own Candice Chirwa! Known as the Minister of Menstruation, Candice is a fervent gender activist, author, and thought leader on addressing issues that will empower the youth. Driven by the purpose to ‘Edulift’ the youth, Candice founded her award-winning NGO, Qrateto facilitate menstrual education workshops with the mission to dismantle menstrual misconceptions within society. Whether it is being a TEDx speaker, YouTuber, writer, or educator, Candice is known to exhaust all of her resources to ensure that the fundamental human rights of girls and women are addressed and met.
Candice’s voice has been influential in stimulating a mental shift in how we understand and view menstruation. This young activist is on a mission to better the future experiences of women, and there are no signs of Candice stopping.
These women on this list are truly exceptional individuals who represent the dynamism, excellence, and flair of women all across the board. As some say, seeing is believing, and these women are living proof that you are also capable. As women’s month is drawn to a close, remember that the movement towards gender equality still continues.
Girl child, you are limitless, worthy, powerful, and you belong anywhere you set your mind to.
At Qrate, we value collaboration with organizations. On the 27th of August, the Qrate team (Mbali & Mogau) with the assistance of our Founder and Director (Candice Chirwa) delivered an interactive presentation on period education to the Ford Motor Company (FMC) female employees for their Women of Ford event.
For Women’s Month, Ford (an automotive company) wanted to highlight the extraordinary women behind the #BuiltTough brand who are predominately responsible for creating the vehicles seen on South African roads. In addition to this celebration, Ford has made a ground-breaking feat by offering period products within their Ford factories and facilities through medical vending machines!
Women of Ford South Africa is an employee resource group dedicated to the unique needs of women of FMC. Their vision is the empowerment and development of women in the company by creating an inclusive environment that fosters female authenticity and equality for women. The day includes speeches from the Chief Financial Officer (Yota Baron), Ford’s FCSD Director (Maja Smith), and Ford’s Plant Material Flow Engineering Manager (Lesego Madiba) and we were graced by an amazing performance by Thandi who works at the Manufacturing facility!
Our mini workshop included a quick-fire quiz session, where we tested the Women of Ford employees’ knowledge on period poverty, and afterward, we conducted our popular Alien Game period product activity where 5 Ford employees were tasked with presenting different period products to the rest of the group. Following that, we ended off the workshop with our Qrate Menstrual Pledge and our Vagina Chant. In honoring our partnership with Ford, we donated a copy of Flow: The Book About Menstruation to the Ford Library to ensure the employees have access to menstrual education outside of the workshop. Social Media Lead, Londeka Mkhize thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and the passion and dedication the Qrate Team provided on the day.
We’d like to thank the Ford Motor Company for honoring us and their employees in ensuring a period-positive environment at their facilities!
We have been really busy with various menstruation workshops, but this one was an extremely special event! We partnered with an organization called Ceramic Industries which is a manufacturer of ceramic tiles and bathroom ware. Ceramic Industries has various factories in South Africa and as part of their CSI program, Ceramic Industries empowers young children in schools through access to extra mathematics and science lessons. Along with this program, Ceramic Industries has recognized that young school girls in particular need access to period products to not miss out on any school days.
With this in mind, On the 4th and 5th of August, Qrate stepped in to provide Menstruation Workshops for 10 schools in the Hammanskraal and Vaal area over a two-day period. In Hammanskraal, we impacted 355 learners from five schools, and on the 5th of August, we impacted 299 learners in the Vaal area. The fun-filled and jam-packed workshop kickstarted with a set of icebreakers to get the girls excited about menstruation. Following that, the facilitators presented an animated video that explains periods in a fun and enlightening way to be a launchpad for a True or False educational quiz that asked the young girls questions about the basics of periods, period products, and debunking period taboos.
Following that, the young girls participated in another interactive game where facilitators presented different period products to test their fellow classmates’ understanding of period products and menstrual health. This activity always affirms for the Qrate team that the world has educated young menstruators who are knowledgeable about the different menstrual products. The workshops tested the knowledge of participants’ knowledge of menstrual health and education. The students were extremely excited and confident and all participated with smiles on their faces!
The project consultant of Ceramic Industries Mathabo Tlali was incredibly impressed by the energy and confidence that the facilitators brought and were hopeful that the world now has confident and empowered menstruators. We are honored to have worked with Ceramic Industries and look forward to serving and providing more communities with menstrual education.
If you’d like your organization to experience the Qrate Menstruation Workshop, please send an email to email@example.com