Society Empowerment Project, strives to address societal issues through developmental sports. One of the main programs is on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM).

A partnership of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT D-lab) and Society Empowerment Project- Kenya saw the training of 80 young girls in and out of school on Creative Capacity building Reproductive health approaches.

MIT D-Lab works with people around the world to develop and advance collaborative approaches and practical solutions to global poverty challenges.

Kenyan based, Lead facilitator, Faith, and Students from MIT D-Lab course, Gender and Development: Arshaya Sood and Sarah Ladhani came to Kenya and took the trainees at SEP on the CCB manual.

The CCB curriculum consists of hands-on activities, skills-building sessions, design process lessons, and a team project that provides a framework for applying the design process to a real-life challenge, and culminates with development of a functional prototype by the end of the training.

The goal of CCB is to train participants to create or adapt technologies that will improve their lives and strengthen their communities. The teaching style attempts to be accessible to all education levels by limiting the use of written materials and, instead, introducing participants to different aspects of design through hands-on examples that are relevant to their daily lives.

Goals of the Workshop was, to teach 80 youths in Homa Bay County how to transform MH challenges into Social enterprise opportunities, using the CCB design cycle and to Create a safe space for youth and trainers to talk about MH challenges and generate productive ideas for solutions

Trained facilitators from SEP trained girls from two primary schools- Mwamba Primary School & Rawinji Primary School, one secondary, God Will Provide International School, Ombek and a group of girls out of school. Each group of girls went through a week’s training on CCB reproductive health training.

A typical week constituted of 5 days of engaging and creative activities


Day 1 –Introduction of Sexual Reproductive Health through mini-lesson and problem identification

Introduction to Design Cycle objectives were to introduce a positive method for creating solutions to together, To demonstrate how the design process can help guide us in co-creation solutions to menstrual health challenges together, and to challenge participants’ mindsets for what they think is possible with existing resources – (think less about what you can’t do with what you don’t have and what you can do with what you do have)

The Mini Lesson on menstrual health and hygiene covered menstruation, what to expect from a first period, DE stigmatizing period blood, and pain during day 1.

The aim of the activity was to teach the basics of menstruation health in an interactive way. A step towards helping the girls understand that menstruation and blood is not something to be ashamed of and can be talked about in a group


Day 2

Involved Public Narratives, the Story of Self, Story of Us, Story of Now. Objective of this session was to create a narrative, identify a challenge and come up with a positive outcome.

On this day, participants were taught facts about Menstrual Hygiene, like,

  • Change of period products every 4-6 hours (if using reusable/disposable pads or tampons) or 6-8 hours (if using period panties or menstrual cups).
  • Reusable pads or period underwear are as sanitary as disposable pads, since you can wash the reusable pads together with underwear.
  • Period blood is not toxic or dirty and can be touched as you wash your menstrual products just like the rest of your laundry. You can wash reusable pads in cold water before adding them to other clothes for washing.
  • Using cold water helps prevent staining.
  • Wash the vagina area every day with warm water and a mild, unscented soap in order to avoid developing infections.
  • Avoid using perfumed soaps or other types of douche products, which can damage the pH balance of the vagina.
  • Menstruation differs from one person to another – some girls and women feel almost nothing on their periods, while others experience cramping pains in their abdomen.
  • In order to reduce pain, apply some heat to the area, take a bath, or massage the lower abdomen.
  • Having cramps is normal, but if you cannot get out of bed or have trouble going through a day of school and normal activity you should let a doctor or a trusted adult know.
  • A few days before getting your period every month, you might start having cramps, headaches, being bloated, or feeling moody and tired.
  • These symptoms are normal – they are called premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Eat foods that are rich in calcium (dairy products), iron (green vegetables), fiber (whole grains), and vitamins (fruit) to alleviate these symptoms.

The session ended with teaching participants basic sewing skills and apply them to something they can take home with them like a (bag)



Day 3

Afternoon Circle started with participants being invited to share appreciations of anyone or anything, challenges they are facing and solutions to them, hopes and dreams they have for the day, the workshop, or in general.

This was followed by a mini lesson on Menstrual Cycle and the composition of the menstrual fluid.

  • The fluid that flows from the vagina during periods includes much of the uterine lining.
  • In addition to blood and tissue, menstrual fluid contains other vaginal secretions. The blood is what gives the fluid its color.
  • Because of its more complex composition, period blood is different from blood that moves through the veins. Its color can range from light red to brown, maroon, or even black.
  • Period blood is not toxic or dirty – it is just one type of vaginal secretion. It might have a light odor, but nobody can smell it through your clothes, so nobody will know that you are on your period unless you choose to tell them.
  • Girls can have light periods, heavy periods, or both. Most girls release only about 2 to 5 tablespoons.

Day 3 ended with participants generating, thinking, and choosing the best idea. With many ideas, the teams built a sketch model of their selected idea. This is where they began to think about how to design their idea.

It’s important to note that these were simply sketch models and they would refine their designs over the next two days.

The groups wrote out a list of materials they will require for the actual product. Using the pad example, this generally includes items like needles, thread, fabrics, and scissors, chalk, etc. which the trainers collected and availed by the next workshop.


Day 4

Participants built an Origami Pocket Purse

The focus of this activity was for the girls to reflect on how they perceive periods. Each participant was first given an opportunity to express their true feelings on taboo topics. Those embarrassed with images in the magazines or newspapers were helped understand that the body is not something to be ashamed of.

The participants transformed a flat sheet of paper into a three dimensional pocket or purse to hold items. They decorated the purses using old newspapers, magazines and books. This was to show how to reuse and recycle stuff into beautiful designs and to teach participants some basic origami, cutting, design and collaging skills

The origami pocket purse can be used for storing items. Trainers provided them with a small card with information about where to buy contraceptives and one condom.

The final activity of day 4 was to build the prototypes of their ideas while referring to the vision they drew, the previous day. Finally, they tested the prototypes to see what may need to be improved on Day 5 where they would build the final prototype.



Day 5

In the afternoon circle, participants listed PMS Friendly Foods on a Flip Chart and a soccer ball. They were encouraged to give both positive and negative feedback, in a respectful and constructive manner, as well be open to listening and receiving it.

The participants then completed their prototypes successfully. The skills learnt would enable them design other products and create new solutions in the future

The Team had showcased and demonstrated all they had done and created throughout the workshop on World Menstrual Hygiene day, 28th May, 2022. This years theme was “to create a world where no woman or girl is held back because they menstruate by 2030” Through the SEP and MIT partnership, we are on the journey towards achieving this goal.

We look forward to achieve this theme by ending period shame and period poverty through our programs.

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