Please Learn and Understand Menstruation (PLUM) is a student organization at Lincoln School in Kathmandu, Nepal. PLUM's mission is to empower Nepali girls to stay in school by educating them about their menstrual cycle and distributing eco-friendly sanitary napkins.
In India, 1 in 4 girls drop out of school when they start menstruating. In Nepal, a similar trend exists. Girls skip or drop out of school when they are menstruating because they do not have access to menstrual hygiene products. In remote communities, when girls and women are menstruating, they use old cloth (e.g. bed sheets, curtains, old clothes, etc.) and sometimes even leaves and sand in their underwear. In order to address this issue, PLUM has designed an empowering lesson on menstrual health and hygiene for girls and has also developed a PLUM Kit.
The PLUM Kit is produced and packaged by local partner "Days for Girls Nepal", a social enterprise that employs eight seamstresses in Kathmandu to make eco-friendly menstrual hygiene products.
Each PLUM Kit can be used for three years, and contains:
- 3 waterproof "shields" (2 regular; 1 long)
- 11 "liners"
- 2 pairs of underwear
- 1 small towel
- 1 bar of soap
- 1 ziploc bag
PLUM believes in the girl effect! Education and the provision of menstrual hygiene products can empower girls to stay in school and pursue higher education, in turn making them less vulnerable to trafficking. Education is a unique opportunity for girls to uplift themselves, their families, and their communities.
During the week of March 6-10, 2017, PLUM will be delivering lessons to 150 middle and high school students across two public schools in Nuwakot District, Nepal. This pilot program will include a Monitoring and Evaluation trip in April/May 2017. PLUM hopes to collect feedback through Focus Group Discussions that will inform modifications to the PLUM Kit and enhance PLUM's menstrual health and hygiene lesson.